They cited the CA rules, which provide that bypassed appointments or nominations “shall be returned to the President and, unless new nominations or appointments are made, shall not again be considered by the commission.”
PPD/Marcelino Pascua/File
CA awaits 3 Cabinet nominations
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Appointments (CA) is awaiting the appointments or nominations of three Cabinet members.

CA members said they have not received the appointment or nomination papers of Secretaries Eduardo Año of interior and local government, Joselito Rolando Bautista of social welfare and development and Sen. Gregorio Honasan, nominated by President Duterte to be secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

The lawmakers said since the CA bypassed the three last Dec. 15, when Congress started its month-long Christmas recess, Duterte had to reappoint or re-nominate them and resubmit their papers to the commission for confirmation.

They cited the CA rules, which provide that bypassed appointments or nominations “shall be returned to the President and, unless new nominations or appointments are made, shall not again be considered by the commission.”

Another appointment the commission did not act on was that of Aileen Lizada, the controversial former member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board whom Duterte appointed as civil service commissioner.

Since Honasan was bypassed and there was no word from Malacañang on his fate, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who is CA chairman, has said his colleague might be nominated to a different position. Honasan is ending his term as a senator on June 30 this year.

Some opposition congressmen, who did not want to be identified, are questioning Duterte’s alleged anti-corruption double standard in choosing the outgoing senator for the DICT post.

They said while the President has fired Cabinet members and their underlings on mere suspicion of corruption, he chose a nominee who is facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly misusing P30 million in his pork barrel funds.

The Office of the Ombudsman filed the charges against the outgoing senator in late 2017. Charged with him were officials of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) led by former commissioner Mehol Sadain.

NCMF was the agency to which Honasan gave the P30 million for projects implemented by non-government organization (NGO) Focus Development Goals Foundation Inc.

In its complaint, the Ombudsman’s office said Honasan endorsed the NGO to NCMF as project implementer. The senator has denied any wrongdoing.

Honasan’s critics have also expressed doubts on whether he is qualified under criteria prescribed by the law creating the DICT.

The law requires that the department’s secretary, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries should have at least seven years of competence and expertise in information and communications technology, information technology service management, information security management, cyber security, data privacy, e-commerce or human capital development in the ICT sector.

The Bicol senator’s Senate colleagues have said he is qualified to head the DICT.

CABINET MEMBERS COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENTS
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