Duterte picks Babe Romualdez as PH ambassador to U.S.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has picked media executive Jose Manuel "Babe" Romualdez as the Philippines' next ambassador to the United States, Malacañang said.
"The Palace announces the nomination of Mr Jose Manuel Del Gallego Romualdez as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America," Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statementThursday, July 27.
"We are confident that with Mr Romualdez at the helm of the Philippine embassy in Washington DC, [it] will further strengthen PH-US relations and promote stronger cooperation between the two countries," added Abella.
Romualdez was previously appointed by Duterte as special envoy to the US.
According to the Philippine Star, where Romualdez keeps a column, Duterte had asked him to be US ambassador in December. Romualdez, however, declined the post since he was to have an emergency operation for an eye ailment in January.
After being unable to serve as special envoy to the US because of the operation, Romualdez was reappointed to the post in July.
Known to have cultivated relationships with US officials, Romualdez is chairman of several American multinational companies such as Weber Shandwick Philippines and FCB Manila.
He is also president of the Manila Overseas Press Club and vice president of Rotary Club of Manila.
Duterte had previously said he planned to appoint former Palace Chief of Presidential Protocol Marciano Paynor Jr as US ambassador. Paynor is now focused on organizing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations events being held in the Philippines this year. – Rappler.com