Dispatch from Crame No. 298: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement of support to the DFA Career Officers’ call for Cayetano’s resignation


Share on facebook
Share on twitter

The Kuwait fiasco is the wake-up call that roused the career officials of the DFA to action. Yesterday, a letter from members of the Philippine diplomatic corps was released to the media calling on DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano to resign in order to save the Philippine foreign service from further international embarrassment.

The action is unprecedented. This is probably the first time in the country’s history that the foreign service officers of the DFA called for the resignation of the Foreign Affairs Secretary. It appears that the DFA’s career officers decided that the Kuwait fiasco was the last straw, and that they were no longer willing to stand by idly on the sidelines while the institution they serve be disgraced before the international diplomatic community.

Sec. Cayetano should listen to them and take heed. The Kuwait fiasco proved that he was way over his head in taking on the job of the nation’s top diplomat.

Before assuming the post of Foreign Affairs Secretary, Cayetano was a lawyer and a politician. He did not have any professional training and experience to lead the country’s foreign service. Cayetano started out at the DFA as a dilettante in a field ruled by career diplomats with years of international exposure. This newbie status is not easily overcome by a few months of traipsing around the world and attending cocktail events. Diplomacy demands more skills. And it appears that despite several months of being DFA Secretary and trying to be the Philippines’ top diplomat to the world, Cayetano just really doesn’t have what it takes to be one.

The Kuwait fiasco is a confirmation of this fact. Cayetano had to learn the hard way that there is no room for amateurs when it comes to foreign relations and diplomacy. Cayetano has to know his skills-set limitations and lack of experience in this field.

It is time for Cayetano to surrender his DFA post to someone more capable and deserving. The position is not work that he can do at his leisure and for his pleasure. If the Kuwait fiasco has taught us anything, it is that mistakes in international diplomatic work have grave consequences. Cayetano’s has cost the DFA almost everything its foreign service officers have worked hard for through the years. That is a lot to sacrifice for one man’s political ambitions. ###

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
Rm. 502 & 16 (New Wing 5/F) GSIS Bldg., Financial Center, Diokno Blvd., Pasay City

Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
807-8489 / (Rm. 16) 807-8580 /local 8619


© 2019 Office of Sen. Leila de Lima. All rights reserved.