MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr on Wednesday, May 18, accepted the offer of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to be the acting secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), DZRH reported.
Yasay, a fellow Mindanaoan, was among the first batch of nominees to government posts that Duterte named on Monday. (READ: LIST: Who’s who in the incoming Duterte Cabinet)
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel Wednesday afternoon, Yasay said that his initial reaction when the offer was made was, “Why me?”
“I’m happy that the presumptive president has put his trust in me,” he said.
The 69-year-old lawyer, who was born in Kidapawan City, Cotabato, studied in Davao City in high school. He told ANC that he and Duterte were room mates at a dormitory in Manila when they were law students.
Yasay made headlines when he testified in the impeachment trial of President Joseph Estrada, accusing the Chief Executive of corruption and abuse of authority.
Yasay will be DFA chief in holdover capacity. Duterte has promised the DFA portfolio to his running mate, Senator Alan Cayetano, but has to observe the one-year ban on appointing those who lost in the elections.
“Whether or not the President will choose to extend my term as DFA chief after a year, I will faithfully discharge my duties,” Yasay told ANC.
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