MEDIA executive Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez was nominated as new Philippine ambassador to the United States, Malacañang announced on Thursday.
“The Palace announces the nomination of Mr. Jose Manuel Del Gallego Romualdez as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Commonwealth of Jamaica, Republic of Haiti, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines and Saint Lucia,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“We are confident that with Mr. Romualdez at the helm of the Philippine embassy at Washington, D.C., will further strengthen Philippune-US relations and promote stronger cooperation between the two countries,” he added.
Duterte has tapped Romualdez to be special envoy to the US in a bid to “reboot” the strained relations of the Philippines with the US.
This was after his scathing remarks against then US president Barrack Obama over his expression of concern over the reported human rights abuses in relation to his administration’s drug war.
Duterte had declared that he was “separating” from the US as part of his independent foreign policy.
The President initially tapped Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to replace former Ambassador Jose Cuisia, who retired in June 2016. When Lorenzana declined the US posting, Duterte said he would name Malacañang’s protocol chief Marciano Paynor to the post but Paynor’s appointment did not push through.