A member of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) is pushing a measure that will stop the President from reappointing Cabinet members who have been bypassed three times.
Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte said once the appointment of a Cabinet member has been bypassed by the CA three times, members of the committee will decide, through a vote, if the Cabinet member can still remain in his or her post. If the CA votes to reject the Cabinet member, he or she cannot be reappointed by the President anymore.
Fariñas noted that most Cabinet members skip the CA hearings, virtually rendering the panel useless since these Cabinet members can be reappointed by the President at any given time.
This was true in the cases of Justice Secretary de Leila de Lima and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.
De Lima’s appointment was not tackled for three years but she recently faced the CA and was confirmed last week. Petilla’s confirmation hearing is yet to be scheduled.
“I will file a resolution amending the CA rules on this because as it is, the Presidential appointees who are Cabinet members can easily secure their posts with or without the approval of the Filipino people we represent. The Constitution provides that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Politicians pay house-to-house visits, go around a lot of cities and barangays to get the people’s vote, and yet these Cabinet officials cannot even spare time in paying courtesy calls to the members of the CA whose vote is needed for their confirmation,” Fariñas.
The CA recently confirmed Secretary Dinky Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.