DFA chief to go on medical leave

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario will soon be taking a leave of absence from his duties as he is scheduled to undergo a medical procedure abroad.

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Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, confirmed in a news briefing on Monday that the secretary will be away “sometime this month” to undergo the “long overdue” procedure.

But Jose assured that del Rosario will still be accompanying President Benigno Aquino 3rd during his visit to Canada and the United States next week.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) chief, according to the spokesman, is expected to return to work “in a few weeks time.”

Jose did not elaborate on the medical procedure to be done on del Rosario, only saying it has to do something with the DFA chief’s back and that it will be done abroad.

He could not say who will be the acting secretary while del Rosario is away.

In the past, Undersecretary Laura del Rosario acted as Foreign Affairs chief when the more senior del Rosario is away.

In the DFA, Jose said, one gets to be acting secretary on a “rotation basis,” and the posting is not based on seniority.

Undersecretary Rafael Seguis would have been del Rosario’s natural temporary replacement if seniority was observed.

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