MANILA, Philippines - Manuel "Manolo" Lopez will be the next Philippine ambassador to Japan replacing Domingo Siazon.
Official sources confirmed to abs-cbnNEWS.com that President Benigno Aquino would name Lopez, former head of the country's largest power distributor, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), as the country's next ambassador to Japan.
Lopez is chairman and chief executive officer of Lopez Holdings Corp. (formerly Benpres Holdings Corp.), holding firm of Lopez family companies such as ABS-CBN, First Pacific Holdings Corp., Bayan Telecommunications Holdings Corp..
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on Sunday that President Aquino has named Lopez ambassador to Japan, and Merceditas Arrastia-Tuason as ambassador to the Vatican.
"Lopez, one of five ambassadors that Mr. Aquino said he has chosen for various foreign missions, is a key political supporter of Mr. Aquino," the Inquirer said.
Tuason was a "close friend" of the late former President Cory Aquino, the PDI said.
Siazon was named ambassador to Japan in 1993 by President Fidel Ramos. He became foreign secretary in 1995 after the resignation of Roberto Romulo following the diplomatic row over the Flor Contemplacion case.
Former President Gloria Arroyo reappointed him to Tokyo after Joseph Estrada was ousted from office. Siazon served as Estrada's foreign affairs secretary.
abs-cbnNEWS.com is the online news website of ABS-CBN Corp., one of the companies owned by the Lopez family.