I find this bit of news worrying. I had reservations about Albert del Rosario’s appointment as Ambassador to Washington in October 2001, but (like my reservations about Avelino Cruz’s appointment as Defense Secretary) these were eased and then obliterated by his performance in office. The difference in the language used (Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye saying the President had accepted Del Rosario’s resignation with regrets, others saying he had in fact been recalled) is ominous. Of course, Max Soliven has written about the changes in DC more than once before. I’m afraid politics has trumped performance, once again.
PS. Del Rosario was gracious enough to receive me when I called on him at the embassy last year, and on such short notice. (I had help from a good friend.) We spoke about a number of things, of course, but for some reason I most remember a conversation about Frank Ephraim, the Jewish refugee who escaped the Nazis by immigrating to the Philippines during World War II when he was nine years old, and who had written Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror. I had just come from Frank’s house in Maryland, for a second interview. By then Del Rosario had come to know Frank very well, and it was good to hear another man’s impressions about a subject I had just met, face to face, for the first time.