Press Release
July 22, 2010


Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today expressed concern that the public clamour to recall the political appointees in the country's diplomatic posts abroad can cripple ground work for such postings.

"There is a distinction between the members of the bureaucracy--those appointed, those elected and those considered casual. In the case of the DFA, there are career ministers and there are political appointees. But because the reality on the ground can be different, say, a foreign post of the DFA, the system there will be paralyzed if a top post is vacated hastily," Angara said.

Last month, several calls were made to the new administration to immediately recall all the politically appointed ambassadors to several postings abroad. Instead, Angara offered that such postings and their ground works be calibrated first to prepare for their possible recalls.

"There are fixed rules in the Civil Service. Even those politically-appointed by a co-terminus arrangement with the President, technically they can not be replaced immediately lest you disrupt their functions and render their service inutile," he warned.

Angara referred to the Vienna Convention, which governs countries' diplomatic relations, to be considered other than the country's Foreign Service Act with regard to political appointees in the Foreign Service. He explained that a time frame be made to allow for the smooth transition between the recalled ambassador and the replacement, and the adjustments in the posts' works.

"Diplomats' terms of service are not always bound by that of their appointing powers. There are customs and traditions that must be continuous and not disrupted midway, hence the issue of recall must also mean that replacements are readily available," Angara noted.

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