Solon says CA should reinforce vetting of future envoys

Published March 28, 2021, 1:35 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The Commission on Appointments (CA) should find ways to strengthen its screening of the country’s future ambassadors to ensure they represent the Philippines well while they are staying in other countries.


Cebu Representative Eduardo Gullas said that following the involvement of two ambassadors in scandals abroad, the CA should consider putting all ambassadorial nominees under intense scrutiny.

“The CA, if it wants to, can put ambassadorial nominees under a more powerful microscope, considering that they are supposed to represent our country abroad and their actions overseas reflect on us,” Gullas said in a statement, on Sunday, March 28.

“The CA is highly capable of performing more extensive background checks on nominees—well beyond just scratching the surface of their credentials,” added Gullas, who previously served as vice chairperson of the powerful bicameral appointments body.

According to Gullas, the CA’s Appointments Review and Investigation Service (ARIS) can launch deeper inquiries into the personal history and  circumstances of nominees aside from looking into their background experience, education and training.

He also said the country’s supply of ambassadors comes from career diplomats as well as political appointees.

“The ARIS generates an individual investigation report (on every nominee) that is given to CA members prior to committee hearings,” he stressed. 

Earlier this month, President Duterte dismissed form service Marichu Mauro, the country’s ambassador to Brazil after a Brazilian TV news channel showed raw footage of the latter abusing her Filipina household helper.

Mauro, a career diplomat, joined the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in 1996 and was confirmed by the CA in February 2018 as ambassador to Brazil with concurrent jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

The Philippine ambassador to South Korea, Noe Wong, was forced to resign in March last year after a South Korean woman in her early 30s accused him of sexual harassment.

The Korean National Police Agency has asked the Interpol to issue a Red Notice for Wong.   The CA confirmed Wong’s appointment as ambassador to Seoul in February 2019.