President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has appointed career diplomat Enrique Manalo as the new secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Manalo took oath before Marcos Jr. on Friday.

The career diplomat, who replaced former president Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign minister Teodoro Locsin Jr., temporarily headed the DFA as acting secretary from March to May 2017 when the Commission on Appointments rejected the late Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s designation.

Manalo served under Duterte as the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York from 2020 until the Davaoeño stepped down from office on June 30.

Manalo first joined the DFA in 1979.

Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Jesus Domingo called Manalo the “best choice” to head the DFA.

“Congratulations to our new Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo—the best choice among the career foreign service. Will be proud & honored to work with him,” he said.

During his inauguration on Thursday, Marcos Jr. said the Philippines would “seek friendship” with all countries. John Ezekiel J. Hirro