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Aquino's EO No. 5: Special envoys can't use 'ambassador' title

September 1, 2010 11:42am

Special envoys can no longer use the title "ambassador" once President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's latest order, Executive Order No. 5, takes effect.

EO No. 5, dated August 25 and released late Tuesday night, prevents special envoys from using the title "ambassador" "to preserve the dignity of the said title and position."

EO No. 5 will take effect 15 days after it is published in a newspaper of general circulation.

Aquino's latest issuance effectively amends former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Executive Order No. 594 — which states the rules governing the appointment or designation and conduct of special envoys — by adding a second paragraph to Section 2.

The additional provision reads: "An appointment/designated Special Envoy shall not use the title 'Ambassador' pursuant to Republic Act 7157, otherwise known as the Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991, which states that only Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary may carry this title."

Aquino's first three EOs have been questioned before the Supreme Court.

EO No. 1 created the Truth Commission, to be led by retired Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., which will investigate unresolved corruption controversies in the Arroyo administration. Allies of Mrs. Arroyo led by House Minority Leader and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman have questioned its constitutionality before the Supreme Court.

Justice assistant secretary Jose Arturo de Castro JD and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) director Eddie Tamondong have also asked the Supreme Court to nullify EO No. 2, which revoked Mrs. Arroyo's so-called midnight appointments.

De Castro likewise is seeking to nullify EO No. 3, which revoked Mrs. Arroyo's EO No. 883 that grants lawyers "occupying legal positions in the government executive service who have obtained graduate degrees in law and successfully passed their bar examinations" with the rank of Career Executive Service Officer III.

On the other hand, Aquino's EO No. 4 restructured the Office of the Press Secretary into the Presidential Communications Operations Office which has two secretaries, Presidential Communications Office head Sonny Coloma and Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning head Ricky Carandang. — RSJ/LBG, GMANews.TV
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