Ex-military attaché gets CA nod as new top PH envoy to Brazil
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of a retired military general as the country’s new ambassador to Brazil.
Before the CA plenary, the body’s Committee on Foreign Affairs deliberated on and recommended for approval the nomination of Ambassador Mario Fontanilla Chan.
As ambassador to Brazil, Chan has concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Colombia, the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Suriname and Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
According to Chan, he served in the government for a total of 41 years, 38 years of which were spent in active military service.
“I reached the rank of Major General of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) before my compulsory retirement at age 56. My last posting is commander of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army,” he told the CA committee.
Chan said he served in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as Secretary Roy Cimatu’s head executive assistant for two years.
“In the AFP and the DENR, I have also served in additional duties with engagement with foreign government agencies and institutions, including international and regional organizations in matters pertaining to defense and military and on environment and national resources concerns, respectively,” he added.
“I have served three years at the Philippine Embassy in India as a military diplomat, the Philippines’ defense and armed forces attaché to India with concurrent jurisdiction over Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka,” Chan further said.
Chan was eventually transferred to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in October 2019, around six months after he was assigned to head the Philippines’ contingent rapid response team in Libya to aid in the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers there amid security tension.
Chan said he served as an executive assistant for DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for nearly two years.
Aside from Chan, the CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of 18 senior DFA officials.
Chan and seven other DFA officials physically attended their confirmation hearing while 11 were allowed to participate online.
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