Sponsorship Speech for Jose Manuel ‘Babe’ Romualdez as Philippine Ambassador to the United States
Commission on Appointments, Aug. 23, 2017
Mr. Chairman, distinguished colleagues, the Committee on Foreign Affairs presided by this representation conducted a public hearing this morning to hear and deliberate on the nomination of Mr. Jose Manuel del Gallego Romualdez as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Commonwealth of Jamaica, Republic of Haiti, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.
Our nominee goes by the byname Babe and is widely known to belong to notable political families, the Lopezes and Romualdezes of Leyte. It may not be known to many that I shared fond memories with his elder brother, the late Alberto “Quasi” Romualdez, who served as Secretary of Health from 1998 to 2001, not only as my contemporary in public service but also a very dear friend.
Aside from his affluent background, our nominee started his career as a newscaster in 1970 for RPN Channel 9. He has made himself a mainstream news personality before, rising from the ranks and holding key positions in the news outfit. His career has since been a roaring success. Ambassador Romualdez now serves as the President and CEO of Stargate Media Corp., an affiliate of the Philippine Star and publishing company of People Asia magazine. To say the least, his editorial columns, the biweekly Spybits, Sundays’ Babes Eye View, and This Week hit a wide following of readers.
Babe fancies the crowd with his candid and affable self. His refined demeanor makes for a good company to Manila’s elite and foreign dignitaries. In fact, he has maintained his important role in the success of several official foreign trips and visits, either as coordinator or member of the official delegation of several presidents, government officials and dignitaries of our country.
He started his role as early as 1989 when he served as the media coordinator during the official visit of then VP Salvador Laurel in Washington D.C., New York. His most recent participation in such official visit was during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Japan in October 2016.
Mr. Chairman, it is not the first time that our nominee has been offered the post. In fact, he declined his appointment at first, because of an emergency operation to address his eye ailment. Luckily for all of us, he has fully recovered to take on the job.
You and I would agree that his sartorial elegance and refined public relations make for an effective bilateral relations with the US. This serves the country in good stead, as observed during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. His close ties with the US Embassy expedited the response of USS George Washington, which made possible rescue missions and emergency airlifts to Leyte.
Our nominee’s policy of mutually beneficial cooperation anchored on mutual respect and equality as sovereign nations are crucial to maintaining the longstanding relations between the Philippines and United States, with no less than current US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim welcoming his appointment with warm congratulations (and) strong diplomatic engagement with the United States.
Therefore, as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, it is this humble representation’s distinct privilege and honor to move that the Commission give its consent to the nomination of Mr. Jose Manuel del Gallego Romualdez as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States of America, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Commonwealth of Jamaica, Republic of Haiti, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, and Saint Lucia.
I so move, Mr. Chairman.