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Wanted: Proactive PH envoy to US

President Duterte said he is still looking for a dynamic Philippine representative to the United Nations and a proactive ambassador to the United States (US).

Duterte stressed that the country’s relationship with the US is going well despite certain issues, particularly on dynamics in governance.

“We need a very dynamic UN representative and of course, in our dealings with the United States, we need a very proactive ambassador,” the Chief Executive said as he addresses soldiers during the 10th anniversary of the Armed Forces Eastern Mindanao Command in Panacan, Davao City Friday.

Duterte told the troops, “We nearly lost our Defense Secretary (Delfin Lorenzana)” after he was considered for the ambassadorial position.

“We were discussing the vacancy in the United Nations and also the ambassador to the US…they were pointing each other. I could not afford to lose anybody in the Cabinet. Most especially Delfin, but…somebody pointed to him (Lorenzana),” the President said.

Lorenzana, a retired Army General, served as presidential representative and the Office of Veterans Affairs head of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. prior to his appointment as Defense Secretary under the Duterte administration. Lorenzana declined the ambassadorial position, saying he wants to stay in the country.

Despite certain issues, especially in his “war against drugs,” the President told the soldiers that: “Our relationship with the United States, as far as I’m concerned, is doing well. But there are matters na ‘yun dynamics sa governance, for example in the matter of this drug crisis.” (Elena L. Aben)