VACUUM in the position of Hilario Davide Jr. could be prevented if he retires from ambassadorship in the United Nations (UN) on April 1.

Presidential spokesperson Ricardo Saludo said Wednesday President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could use emergency appointment depending on the demands of the duty of Davide in the UN.

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“An ambassador can be temporarily replaced through charge’ d affaires, but if there is an important matter that needs to be attended to and has to appoint replacement, the Constitution still allows the President to use emergency appointment,” Saludo explained.

“It depends on what is happening in the United Nations conference. If there is a need for full ambassador who has to represent the Philippines, that is the problem that should be addressed,” he furthered.

Saludo stressed that diplomatic appointment normally goes through the Commission on Appointments (CA) but in the case of Davide, the President could exercise her emergency power if the situations calls for it.

Saludo said they have not received the copy of Davide’s resignation but based on what he had heard, the retired chief justice has resigned from post to help his son, Hilario III, who is seeking a gubernatorial position in Cebu. He is running against reelectionist Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.

Report said Hilario III confirmed his father’s resignation effective April 1 at a meeting with local editors and reporters in Cebu. He said his father will start helping him in his campaign after Holy Week.

“Let us wait for the official statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs on this,” Saludo said, refusing to confirm the report.

“But one thing we can assure our people, the position of the ambassador in the United Nations, this is position of our honorable supreme court justice Hilario Davide Jr., is very important in the diplomatic corps,” he said.

“Ambassador Davide has been one of the strong voices of the Philippines in advocating in this important initiative under the administration of the President, and his advocacy is a very tenet of global peace-making and understanding,” he added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo in a separate interview refused to comment on the reported resignation of Davide. He meanwhile said Davide has asked for a meeting with him.

Davide was appointed as ambassador to the UN in February 2007 after serving as senior presidential adviser on electoral reform following his retirement as Chief Justice in 2005. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)