Ex-envoys get courtesy diplomatic passports for ‘services rendered to country’
MANILA, Philippines — A former diplomat on Tuesday said that former Department of Foreign Affairs secretaries and ambassadors receive diplomatic passports not just as a sign of courtesy but as a “recognition of services rendered to the country.”
“I don’t know the coverage of the order, but the grant of the so-called courtesy diplomatic passports to retired ambassadors is not only a matter of recognition or acknowledgment of services they rendered to the country,” Lauro Baja, former Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Lauro Baja said in an interview over DZMM.
This comes after the Department of Foreign Affairs announced that it will cancel diplomatic passports issued to former top diplomats and ambassadors.
The move was made in the wake of Hong Kong’s move to bar the entry of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, who holds a diplomatic passport.
“It’s unfortunate because the issue here is not really the diplomatic passport, it began with the detention of Secretary del Rosario,” Bajo said. “I wonder why it has the size to issue [the cancellation] of diplomatic passports.”
However, Baja, who himself admitted that he holds a diplomatic passport, said he has no problem with the cancellation of his.
He added that the Philippine Ambassadors Foundation Inc. will likely be issuing a statement on the cancellation of diplomatic passports on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what the consensus will be,” Baja said. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
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