Aquino eyes 2 names as envoy to China-A A +A
Monday, September 10, 2012
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Monday that he is considering two career officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to replace Sonia Brady as Philippine envoy to China.
Three months after being appointed to help ease tensions with China, Brady, 71, suffered a stroke in her Beijing home in late August.
"There are two names being suggested and both seem to be very competent. I just have to talk to them," President Aquino said over the weekend in an interview with the media delegation in Vladivostok, Russia, where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit.
Aquino said he will announce the replacement of Brady at the soonest possible time amid continuing tensions with China over maritime issues.
The Chief Executive tapped Brady's expertise in Chinese affairs to replace former ambassador Domingo Lee, who has been bypassed several times by the Commission on Appointments.
Brady served as envoy to Beijing from 2006 to 2010 under the term of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
"Of course, we weren't expecting to replace Ambassador Brady so soon. Even her health issue, she was actually examined before that and she passed," Aquino said.
Malacañang has said that Brady will be brought back to the country in two weeks time as her condition improves.
Meantime, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario expressed disappointment over the failure of the President to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao during the Apec leaders' meeting.
The Palace earlier said it expects that the bilateral talks between the President and Hu would push through during Aquino's two-day stay in Russia.
Both sides, however, failed to set the meeting at the sidelines of the summit citing "lack of time."
China, meanwhile, met with other claimant countries of Spratly Islands such as Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan.
Aquino did not mention anything about China in his arrival speech Sunday.
Ties between the Philippines and China have been strained over the past months due to continuing dispute on the Panatag (Scarborough) shoal and other disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)