Duterte appoints Enrique Manalo as DFA Acting Secretary

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New DFA acting secretary Enrique Manalo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte appointed on Thursday a new acting secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo is the acting foreign affairs chief, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella announced. 

This follows the rejection by the Commission of Appointments of Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Wednesday.

"Usec. Manalo is an excellent transition man, and has been on top of many crucial issues together with Atty. Perfecto Yasay," Abella said in a statement.

Manalo, who has an extensive experience on foreign policy, specifically on ASEAN and UN matters, has served as Head of the Philippine Mission to the European Union and has chaired the ASEAN London Committee in 2013.

Manalo is in charge of the DFA until Duterte appoints a new secretary.

Yasay is the first appointee of the President to be rejected by the body.

Related: CA rejects Yasay's appointment as DFA Chief for lying under oath

The commission unanimously turned down Yasay's appointment because he had lied under oath and failed to declare his U.S. citizenship.

Yasay admitted to the committee that he held a U.S. passport in 1986. But he claimed it became null and void after he declared his intent to return to the country.

The commission's foreign affairs committee chairman Panfilo Lacson said Duterte can still appoint Yasay to another position.

But the issue surrounding his U.S. citizenship and his failure to disclose this in a timely manner may hound him regardless of any position in the government, he added.