In this Aug. 7, 2018 photo, former Budget Secretary and new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno presents the proposed 2019 budget before the Senate.
The STAR/Mong Pintolo
Palace: No CA nod needed for BSP chief Diokno
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - March 6, 2019 - 10:19am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has clarified that new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno would not have to face the bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA).

Presidential spokesperson Salvador backtracked from his previous statement that he is confident Diokno would be able to hurdle the commission.

"After further evaluation of relevant laws and jurisprudence surrounding the appointment of former Secretary of Budget and Management Benjamin E. Diokno as the new Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, it is the position of the Palace that the said appointment need not be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments," Panelo said in a statement released Wednesday.

Citing the 1987 Constitution, Panelo pointed out that the governor of the central bank does not fall under any of the categories of officials that require the approval of the CA.

Article VII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution indicates that:

"The President shall nominate and, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in this Constitution. He shall also appoint all other officers of the Government whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be authorized by law to appoint. The Congress may, by law, vest the appointment of other officers lower in rank in the President alone, in the courts, or in the heads of departments, agencies, commissions, or boards.

The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until after disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress."

The Malacañang mouthpiece also cited the 1992 case between Peter John Calderon and Bartolome Carale, where the Supreme Court ruled the Congress cannot amend provisions of the Constitution by mere legislation.

The Calderon versus Carale case, which involved the appointment of former BSP Governor Gabriel Singson, resolved the question whether the Congress can add more presidential appointees that need CA confirmation which were not initially listed in the Constitution.

"Congress cannot by law expand the confirmation powers of the Commission on Appointments and require confirmation of appointment of other government officials not expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16 of Article VII of the Constitution," the high court said in its ruling.

Singson did not have to undergo CA confirmation after the Supreme Court dismissed this case.

"In view of the foregoing doctrines, as well as the fact that a Governor of the BSP is not covered by Article VII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution, his appointment being provided by mere legislation, it is submitted that the appointment of former Secretary and new BSP Governor Diokno does not need confirmation from the CA," Panelo said.

Earlier this week, President Rodrigo Duterte announed that Diokno would be taking over the central bank. The former Budget secretary would be replacing the late Nestor Espenilla Jr., who passed away last month.

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