Angara joins list of special envoys
Former Senate President Edgardo Angara is President Duterte’s new envoy to the European Union, the organization that the chief executive earlier castigated for expressing concern over his administration’s war on drugs.
Malacañang also issued a clarification on the position of former Speaker Jose de Venecia, who is the President’s special envoy for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and not for intercultural dialogue as earlier announced, it said.
De Venecia joined Mr. Duterte on his recent visit to China to attend the Belt and Road Forum. During the trip, De Venecia batted for the joint exploration of the disputed Spratly Islands.
Another new appointment was that of Manila Times’ chairman emeritus Dante Ang as Special Envoy of the President for International Public Relations.
Ranjit Shahani, former Pangasinan board member and son of the late Sen. Leticia Ramos Shahani, was also named to the board of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office.
De Venecia’s appointment was signed in April, while those of Angara, Ang and Shahani were signed earlier this month.
Mr. Duterte also named Davao City’s former police chief Vicente Danao as the commander of the National Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force.
The task force, created under Executive Order No. 15 issued in March, would undertake sustained anti-illegal drugs operations.
It would be made up of members of law enforcement agencies, including members of the institutions called upon for assistance by virtue of the order. It is required to coordinate its operations with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Duterte administration has been undertaking a sustained campaign against illegal drugs that has elicited criticism and concern from human rights groups and international organizations because of the mounting death toll of drug suspects.
The President and his officials have denied that the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects were state-sponsored, and complained that the death toll from the drug war had been exaggerated.
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