Smooth Confirmation Of Brady Seen

MANILA, Philippines --- At least two members of the House in the Commission on Appointments see the immediate confirmation of the appointment of veteran career diplomat Sonia Brady as country's new ambassador to China.

CA members Rep. Magtanggol "Magi" Gunigundo and Rep. Rodolfo Antonino said Brady could breeze through the confirmation hearings as they expressed hope her appointment would help address the territorial row between Manila and Beijing over the Panatag Shoal.

"(Brady) went through confirmation proceedings before without any hitches. We are not aware of any issue on her competence as a diplomat. It would be good for Philippine ties with China to send a familiar face to the Beijing post who knows the Chinese psyche," Gunigundo said in an interview.

Gunigundo expressed confidence that Brady, who served as the country's ambassador to China from April 2006 to January 2010, can ably answer the questions of the CA member.

Antonino said Brady "will have no problem given her credentials."

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte earlier said Brady could breeze through the CA with her extensive experience in foreign affairs and in foreign relations.

Earlier, President Aquino's initial appointee to the China post, Domingo Lee, was not confirmed by the CA with some senators questioning his qualifications.

Lee gave up the appointment as ambassador but was later appointed as special envoy of the President to China, along with Cesar Zalamea.

House leaders welcomed the appointment of a career diplomat to the China post.

Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. said that Brady's appointment would help the government settle the dispute with China given her longtime experience with Philippines-China relations.

Brady was Third Secretary and Vice Consul and later Second Secretary and Consul of the Philippine Embassy in Beijing from 1976 to 1978.

It was Brady who briefed the President and his delegation on Philippines-China bilateral relations before the state visit to China in 2011.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Trenas, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability, said Brady was a "good choice."

"At least the issue can be handled professionally by an experienced diplomat," he said.

Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello, chairman of the House committee on overseas' workers affairs, said, "This is a time to get the professionals to manage the crisis, not the amateurs."

Last Saturday, Valte announced that the President has appointed Brady as ambassador to the People's Republic of China, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Mongolia.

Brady, who also served as Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy from July 2003 to 2006, has a master of arts in international relations from the University of Southern California and a foreign service degree from the University of the Philippines.

Brady's foreign posting include two- year stint as envoy to Thailand from 2002 to 2003 and four-year diplomatic stint as ambassador to Myanmar from 1995 to 1999.

She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission to Indonesia and Thailand from 1992 to 1995, assistant secretary to the Office of the Secretary for policy and coordination, and director for the Office of the Asia-Pacific.

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