THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday approved the nomination and ad interim appointments of 19 Department of Foreign Affairs officers and 32 senior officials in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

It also approved the nomination of retired Justice Catral Mendoza as member of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), representing the retired justices of the Supreme Court for a term expiring on July 9, 2025.

Mendoza attended the meeting through video conferencing due to his advanced age and co-morbidity.

The CA approved the appointment of Mario Chan, a retired military official, as Philippine Ambassador to Brazil, with jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.

Chan replaced Marichu Mauro who had been dismissed from the service after a leaked video footage was shown on a local television station in Brazil showing her maltreating her unidentified Filipino househelp.

The panel also accepted the appointments of 11 chiefs of mission, five career ministers, and two foreign service officers.

The CA also approved the nomination of Rear Admiral Danilo Fuentes, Jr.; Major Generals Edward Libago and Francisco Ariel Felicidario 3rd; Brigadier Generals Ferdinand Razalan, Julius Tomines, Jaime Abawag Jr., and Florante Sison; and Commodore John Garaña.

Among the AFP officers included for confirmation were Col. Ruben Guinolbay, who was once a candidate for Medal of Valor, the highest military award, for neutralizing a group of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits who ambushed him and his troops in Lamitan, Sulu in 2001.

After the clash with the ASG, Guinolbay, a member of Philippine Military Class of 1994, and his men were able to rescue some hostages held by the ASG. In 2011, Guinolbay was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star instead.

The youngest son of former Joseph "Erap" Estrada, Jude Ejercito, a reserve officer in the Philippine Air Force, was promoted to the rank of Colonel.

Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., said that true to his Estrada roots, Ejercito, brother of former senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada, has a heart for the needy.

He noted that Ejercito got a Bronze Cross Medal in 2020 for his volunteer work in Metro Manila and for spearheading the deployment of the Reservist Task Unit to those with the highest number of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases.