Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has appointed an ally of his wife Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano as Undersecretary for Security and Consular Concerns, replacing a career official Ariel Abadilla.
The new DFA Usec Joel Montales served as Taguig City’s OIC-administrator.
Cayetano, who was appointed in May, is also tapping blogger RJ Nieto as “consultant” for migrant workers’ affairs.
DFA spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said, however he could not confirm yet the appointment of Nieto as consultant.
“We have yet to receive official information on Thinking Pinoy’s reported appointment,” he said.
Nieto is a blogger of a political propaganda website called Thinking Pinoy, where he openly voices his dislike of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Nieto, together with blogger turned Assistant Secretary of the Pesidential Communication Operations Margaux Uson, attacks people who criticize President Rodrigo Duterte.
In one of his posts, Nieto announced his tentative appointment as “Head of Strategic Communications [Content],” under the office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs lawyer Sarah Arriola, Cayetano’s long time staff.
Arriola replaced a senior career diplomat Jesus Yabes on June 28.
“I will help bridge the communication gap between OFWs and the DFA. I am not alone in this. Tulung-tulungan tayo [let’s help each other],” Nieto stated in his blog.
Overseas Filipino workers are considered as the unsung heroes of the Philippines bringing in billions of pesos in remittances to the country.
A DFA source also said that Cayetano is planning to replace DFA consular affairs assistant secretary Frank Cimafranka following his alleged failure to solve the huge backlog in passporting.