President Benigno Aquino 3rd still has confidence in Justice Secretary Leila de Lima despite her failure to get confirmation from the Commission on Appointments (CA), a Malacanang official said on Wednesday.
De Lima was appointed justice secretary in 2010, but the commission has yet to confirm her nomination.
In a press conference, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said de Lima will continue at her job “regardless of whether she has been confirmed or not.”
“The President has every confidence in Secretary Leila de Lima,” Lacierda said. “She has not been confirmed for the longest time…she has continuously done her job regardless of who gets affected, or who’s involved.”
De Lima “will do her job based upon the instructions of the President and the instructions are to investigate wherever the evidence leads to,” he added.
Lacierda said the confirmation “is a legislative process. What can you do? If the legislators still feel that there are questions to be asked from the Cabinet secretaries then, they are free to ask and the secretaries will be ready to attend and to entertain all their questions.”
Asked if the Palace finds it hypocritical for the legislators to dangle confirmation as a threat, Lacierda said: “They may have legitimate reasons why they still want to ask questions of the Cabinet secretary and we should grant them that. But, again, I cannot speak for the legislators. I can only speak for our Cabinet officials.”
Besides de Lima, the appointments of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, Energy Secretary Jericho Carlos Petilla and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman have also been bypassed by the commission.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE