• DFA chief mulls early retirement for ‘rude’consul general

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    Philippine Consul General Jose Ampeso may be forced to retire early after a video of him being rude and disrespectful to a Filipino passport applicant in Canada went viral on the Internet.

    “That could be an option. If there is probable cause, then we’ll have to see where that proceeds,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said when asked of the possibility of forcing the consul to file for an early retirement.

    In an interview on ANC news channel, del Rosario said that the investigation on the case is still ongoing.

    Ampeso is set to retire this year or next year. During his foreign service career, he was involved in a couple of controversies including a sexual harassment case filed against him by former presidential daughter Luli Arroyo in the late 1990s.

    Arroyo reportedly blocked a promotion for the consul when her mother was still the president. Since then, sources said the agency was unable to promote Ampeso to an ambassador post despite being “brilliant” in his job.

    Del Rosario however refused to comment on Ampeso’s past transgressions or if the consul is fit for his post.

    “I think that will be determined and we’ll have to see the results of the investigation. He’s a career official and he has served for many years and as a matter of fact, he is scheduled to retire sometime this year,” he said.

    There are different sanctions for career officials, depending on the severity of their actions.

    “That has to be determined by the board and they will make a recommendation. Then, I will take a good look at it,” del Rosario said. “As I indicated, we demand the highest standard of conduct from our people. There should be nothing less. He’s now home and we’re going to conduct an investigation.”

    The DFA chief questioned Ampeso’s action of asking for donations to the Philippine National Red Cross.

    “I think its improper. I think it is inappropriate,” he said.

    In a statement, the consul said he was miffed after the passport applicant joked that he will donate $1 for the Red Cross.

    He also said he was tired and exhausted after a long day at work.

    Bernice Camille V. Bauzon

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