Foreign envoys, officials pay courtesy call on Vice President-elect Sara Duterte

Published June 29, 2022, 7:27 PM

by Betheena Unite

Several diplomats and foreign officials met with Vice President-elect Sara Duterte on Wednesday, June 29, a day before she assumes office.

Vice President-elect Sara Duterte and French Ambassador Michéle Boccoz (Photo courtesy of the DFA)

Ambassadors from Romania, France, Laos, including Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshima Hayashi, and United States’ Second Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff were among the officials who paid their respective courtesy call on the Vice President-elect at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

During the calls, which started at 2 p.m., Duterte and the envoys affirmed their sides’ commitment in working with the Philippines under the new administration.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Emhoff congratulated Duterte on her overwhelming victory in the elections, as well as her nomination as Education secretary.

The US official underscored their commitment to strengthening the Philippines-US relations. Both sides exchanged views on issues of mutual interest, especially in education and the importance of youth engagement in politics and women in leadership.

Emhoff arrived in the country on Tuesday, June 28. He will be leading the US delegation during the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Thursday, June 30.

The US delegation during the courtesy call included US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava, Fil-Ams Congressman Bobby Scott and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Nani Coloretti, Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Sandy Winnefeld, NSC Senior Director Edgard Kagan, and U.S. Executive Director to the ADB Chantale Wong.

Duterte is expected to continue her engagement with the US on the education front during planned visits to Washington and New York in September 2022.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshima Hayashi, for his part, shared his experiences in various positions in government, including being Minister of agriculture, defense, education, and trade during his call to Duterte.

Both leaders expressed hope that the “golden age of relations” established during the term of President Duterte “will grow into a platinum age under the next administration.”

Moreover, Romanian Ambassador Răduţa Dana Matache and Duterte expressed openness to future cooperation and engagements in the area of education and looked forward to the further enhancement of overall Philippine-Romanian bilateral relations.

French Ambassador Michéle Boccoz discussed with Duterte several areas of mutual interest, particularly on post-pandemic recovery, education, and the peace-building process in the country.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic Deputy Foreign Minister Phoxay Khaykhampithoune and the Vice President-elect discussed areas of cooperation in the fields of education, health, tourism, and trade, among others.

The Lao Special Envoy, during the meeting, also lauded the tourism and education programs of the Philippines, expressing Laos’ interest to learn from the Philippines’ models and strategies in these areas.

The Vice President-elect is also expected to meet the ambassadors of Vietnam and China during the series of courtesy calls from the foreign officials.

The DFA has assisted the office of Duterte in carrying out the envoy visits.