President Aquino appoints Almendras as new DFA chief

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(File photo) Sec. Rene Almendras

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) —  Malacañang on Tuesday evening (March 8) announced the appointment of Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras as the new chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

In a statement, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said upon Almendras' assumption as secretary of Foreign Affairs, he “has ceased to be Cabinet Secretary.”

President Benigno Aquino III said Almendras, who will replace outgoing DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario, has been experienced in handling diplomatic issues.

The president said Almendras has been his “troubleshooter” in some of the challenges his administration has faced, such as repairing the diplomatic strain between the Philippines and Hong Kong after the Quirino hostage-taking incident in 2010 where eight Hong Kong nationals were killed.

Aquino added, Almendras has also been instrumental in resolving the tension between the Philippines and Taiwan after the Balintang Channel shooting incident.

CNN Philippines' correspondents Rex Remitio and Isabella Montano contributed to this report.