Cayetano asks colleagues in Senate: Make me a good diplomat
Newly-confirmed Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said goodbye on Wednesday to his colleagues in the Senate as he thanked them for making him a better person and legislator, among others.
Cayetano also apologized to fellow senators whom he said he may have hurt in the course of doing legislative work.
Cayetano took to the floor for the last time as senator a few hours after the Commission on Appointments approved his nomination as foreign secretary.
He first thanked God for opportunities that included him being able to serve public office for the past 25 years and “hopefully (turning into) a statesman-diplomat.”
“I would like to thank you, my dear colleagues, for making me a better person, a better debater, a better legislator, a better policymaker and hopefully will be good diplomat because of our working together, against each other, working for each other and everything that is in between all of that,” Cayetano said.
And because he did not study nor trained to be the chief diplomat, the new foreign secretary sought the senators’ help as he embarks into his new job and told them “to feel free to call” the Department of Foreign Affairs for any assistance or briefings.
“This is not goodbye, maybe farewell for the meantime,” he also said.
Cayetano then apologized to any senator whom he said he may have hurt during Senate debates.
“Please accept my apologies. I don’t promise to do it again but this time around I would do it as a diplomat so I will be much kinder. But please also guide me. And if I did do it, it was not meant to hurt you but it was in the spirit crafting better laws or realizing a better Philippines,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano has had public spats with fellow senators, the latest being Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima, in his defense of President Duterte over allegations of extrajudicial killings in the government’s campaign against drugs.
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