MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Jose Rene Almendras, current Cabinet Secretary, was appointed acting secretary of foreign affairs, Malacañang announced Tuesday, March 8.
Almendras replaces Albert del Rosario, who resigned March 7 after a 5-year stint. Del Rosario quit for health reasons. (READ: Del Rosario: Filipino 'Moses' in the world's danger zones)
A friend and Ateneo classmate of the President's, Almendras first served as energy secretary under the Aquino administration before being appointed Cabinet Secretary.
Almendras' short stint as energy chief ended in November 2012, when President Benigno Aquino III named him Cabinet Secretary tasked to organize and deliver results of a master plan of the Aquino administration’s targets and projects.
In appointing Almendras as Cabinet Secretary, Aquino revived the post that was last occupied during the Arroyo administration by Ricardo Saludo and Silvestre Bello III. The position was also filled during the presidency of Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino. The post was then held by former Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus.
Before becoming energy chief, Almendras held leadership positions in several companies including Manila Water.