This refers to Hermenegildo Cruz’s article titled “The foreign service: our first line of defense” (Inquirer, 10/24/12), and the letter of Carlos S. Cruz (“Tamaraw Club issues are very relevant today,” Inquirer, 12/8/12), specifically regarding the late Ambassador Alejandro Melchor Jr.
All issues mentioned in the article and letter have already been addressed and resolved as per the following documents from Malacañang. The first is an Endorsement, dated June 9, 1989, issued by Executive Secretary Catalino Macaraig Jr., as follows:
“I wish to inform the President that the Board of Foreign Service Administration, upon reexamination of the evidence against Amb. Melchor, finds no basis for the charges previously filed by the Department of Foreign Affairs against him, and therefore recommends the dropping of all charges against him, which recommendation I fully endorse for your immediate approval.”
The second is a letter written by President Fidel Ramos to Melchor: “This will confirm your exoneration of all charges brought against you as former Ambassador to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, based on the 1st Endorsement of this Office dated June 9, 1989.”
Ambassador Melchor was appointed by President Corazon Aquino to her Cabinet as “Presidential Adviser on the Bases Conversion Program” and concurrently as “Chairman of the Philippine Withdrawal Committee” and was even sent as her envoy to the White House in Washington, DC, for special talks with President George H.W. Bush; he was introduced as an “esteemed Filipino statesman.”
The article and letter failed to mention Melchor’s accomplishments as ambassador to Moscow. These accomplishments were praised and commended by Trade Secretary Jose Concepcion Jr. and by former Science and Technology Secretary Antonio Arrizabal who made official visits to Moscow and cited Melchor for his economic cooperation projects with the Soviet Union and Finland that proved most beneficial for the Philippines.
Ambassador Melchor was a career man who served the country for almost 50 years under nine presidents as a bemedaled naval officer, as undersecretary of national defense and acting secretary of defense, as executive secretary, and as ambassador to the Soviet Union and, at the same time, ambassador to Finland.
President Ramos conferred on Melchor the Distinguished Service Award as a “Soldier, Diplomat, Scholar and Technocrat.” The Philippine Chamber of Industries cited Melchor as a “dedicated public servant, a man of integrity, an action man, with a deep sense of loyalty to his country and the Filipino people.”
Ambassador Melchor was given a “hero’s burial” at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on July 16, 2002.—ROSARIO P. MELCHOR, wife of the late Ambassador Alejandro Melchor Jr.