PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said there was nothing he could do with the Commission on Appointments’ rejection of his nomination of Judy Taguiwalo to the top post of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“They voted secretly. I do not know who voted for and who was against Taguiwalo. And that is the job of Congress as part of the checks and balances in this government. We can’t do anything if my appointment is rejected,” Duterte said in a Palace news conference Monday night.
At least 13 lawmakers voted to reject the nomination of Taguiwalo, whom Duterte appointed as social welfare secretary on May 31, 2016.
Duterte said he would not speak ill of the lawmakers who voted against Taguiwalo.
“I do not want to attribute or impute something, motive. It’s a discretion and they voted [in]secret,” Duterte added.
Prior to her social welfare stint, Taguiwalo served as professor at the women and development studies program of the University of the Philippines in Diliman from 1992 to 2015.
Taguiwalo was also the national vice chairman of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers and head of the women’s committee of ACT Philippines.
A political prisoner during martial law, Taguiwalo spent over three years in various prisons for resisting the Marcos regime.
She was faculty regent of the UP Board of Regents from 2009 to 2010.
She is also the founding national president of All UP Academic Employees Union and head of the board of trustees of Ibon Foundation.