Duterte to appoint Palace chief protocol officer Paynor as US ambassador

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte intends to appoint Malacañang Palace Chief Protocol Officer Marciano Paynor as the Philippines' Ambassador to the United States.

Duterte told this to media during an ambush interview on Monday, August 29, in Malacañang Palace.

Paynor's "stretch in the foreign service" and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana's recommendation of him were among the reasons why Duterte picked him.

"He's good...Kaya niya 'yan (He can do it)," said Duterte.

Duterte said he is yet to nominate Paynor for the position. The appointment will also have to go through the Congress' Committee on Appointments.

Paynor served as Philippine Consul General to San Francisco, Washington DC, Gabon, Budapest, Rome, Israel, Cyprus, and Los Angeles.

Prior to his foreign service career, Paynor was a military man. He was an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy but left the military in 1983 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Duterte's choice comes after Lorenzana declined the post of ambassador to the US.

With Paynor's upcoming appointment, the post of Chief Protocol Officer will be offered to ABS-CBN anchor Robert Borje.

"I have one nominee, I don't know if he's qualified, Borje," said Duterte.

Borje, who hails from Duterte's hometown Davao City, also entered the foreign service. He is the son of a former military man, retired Commodore Adolf Borje of the Philippine Navy, supposedly a friend of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.