MANILA, Philippines – A Philippine senator who staunchly defended President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody crackdown on illegal drugs has been named the country's foreign secretary.
Duterte told reporters Wednesday before flying to Cambodia to attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN that he had appointed Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano to the new position.
The 46-year-old Cayetano, a lawyer first elected to the Senate 10 years ago, lost a race for vice president last year when he ran as Duterte's running mate. He then returned to his unfinished term at the Senate but continued to be a staunch defender of Duterte.
Last week, he stood up for Duterte against international criticism at the U.N. human rights review in Geneva.
He replaces Acting Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo, a career diplomat.