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Cayetano is new foreign affairs secretary, vows to pursue Philippine territorial claims

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By ALFRED GABOT

 

 

IN MOSCOW. DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano joins President Rodrigo Duterte as he holds bilateral talks in Moscow with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

 

PASAY CITY (PhilAmPress)  Sen. Alan Peter Schramm Cayetano has taken over as secretary of foreign affairs following the whirlwind approval of his apppointment by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the CA foreign affairs committee,  said that Cayetano was confirmed by the CA by acclamation being a seating Senator and member of the CA. 

 

Cayetano, 47, a lawyer, was educated at Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines and was also a former congressman representing Taguig City. He is a son of the late Senator Renato Cayetano of San Carlos City, Pangasinan and Pateros, a topnotch lawyer, Assemblyman and presidential legal counsel during his time, and Sandra Schramm Cayetano, a German-American former school teacher from Michigan where his father took up his Master of Laws, Master of Public Administration and  Doctor of Laws.

 

Cayetano received the Department of Foreign Affairs’ flag from the Acting Secretary and Undersecretary for Policy Enrique A. Manalo at the Office of the Secretary Conference Room on May 19, 2017. 

 

Secretary Cayetano was warmly received by the members of the Philippine Foreign Service following his  visit to the DFA’s Office of Consular Affairs.

 

On May 22,  Cayetano addressed for the first time the members of the Philippine Foreign Service as the country’s top diplomat during the  flag ceremony at the DFA Building in Pasay City.

 

In his speech, Secretary Cayetano revealed his impressions of the Foreign Service, his plans for the Department, and his expectations from the DFA workforce.

 

“We are here in the Department of Foreign Affairs to build relationships. We are to be the bridge, and we are here to build a nation,” Secretary Cayetano said as he defined the DFA’s mission.

 

He recalled his previous engagements with various DFA employees when he visited several Philippine Foreign Service Posts as a Senator.

 

“All around the world, kilala ang DFA sa pagiging professional and I congratulate you for that. It has always been a pleasure to meet our DFA officers and employees abroad because they are the most professional, they’re the mostmalambing, they’re the most caring, and they will work for you in the evening, Saturday, Sunday, etc. And they will make sure that you are well taken care of.”

 

He also highlighted the role of the DFA as protector of Filipinos overseas, not just in taking good care of their welfare, but also that of their convenience and comfort.

 

The Secretary also reminded of the role of every DFA employee as the face of the public. “Tayo po ang mukha ng Pilipinas,” he said reminding the corps how crucial their role is in government and urged everyone to represent the country well.

 

The Secretary concluded his remark by reminding the DFA officers and staff to put the values and interests of the Filipino at heart in all of their endeavors at work and to help him accomplish the task the president has given him.

 

Secretary Cayetano, in a press briefing immediately after the flag ceremony, also tackled an array of issues on the Department’s consular services, Philippine relations, and others.

 

Cayetano declared that he plans an "objective-based" approach in resolving the territorial disputes of the Philippines with China and neighbors and defending the country's claims.


Cayetano also vowed to avoid "microphone diplomacy", which he described as the continual issuing of public statements instead of privately negotiating the issues with the parties. (Alfred Gabot/PhilAmPress)

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