Cayetano takes oath as Philippines' top diplomat

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte's running mate, former senator Alan Peter Cayetano, took his oath on Thursday, May 18, as secretary of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). 

Cayetano took his oath before Duterte at the presidential guesthouse in Panacan, Davao City.

Cayetano was surrounded by family members including his wife, Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, and his sister, Taguig City-Pateros 2nd District Representative Pia Cayetano.

"Congratulations," Duterte told Cayetano as the new DFA secretary took his oath on Thursday.

Cayetano's nomination was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on Wednesday, May 17, after a 3-minute proceeding that was called "the shortest confirmation hearing of a Cabinet secretary." 

The new DFA chief will start his first full day in office on Friday, May 19, by visiting the DFA's passport processing area in ASEANA business park, Parañaque City. The media was invited to cover Cayetano's visit.

Cayetano on Wednesday said he plans "to discreetly or quietly visit" passport processing areas to explore solutions to passport delays. 

He also vowed to transform "from politician to diplomat" and to use "more diplomatic language" in continuing to defend Duterte. –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at