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Palace says it respects CA's authority to decide on appointments

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Palace says it respects CA's authority to decide on appointments
File photo of Martin Andanar
The STAR / Boy Santos, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — A day after the Commission on Appointments (CA) bypassed the nominations of President Rodrigo Duterte's five appointees to independent constitutional commissions, Malacañang said it respects the body's authority to decide on the appointments made by the chief executive.

The bicameral body did not act on the nominations of Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan, Comelec Commissioners Aimee Torrefranca-Neri and George Garcia; Commission on Audit chairperson Rizalina Justol and Civil Service Commission Chairman Karlo Nograles last Wednesday, the last session day of the 18th Congress.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the CA constitutional offices committee, adjourned the confirmation hearings because of lack of quorum. Because of the development, it will now be up to president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to decide whether to reappoint the bypassed officials.

"We recognize the power vested by the Constitution in the Commission on Appointments and further respect its authority to confirm appointments made by the President," acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said in a statement issued Thursday.

Duterte's political adviser Jacinto Paras noted that the CA has the prerogative to decide on the president's appointments.

"It seemed from the pronouncement of Senator (Juan Miguel) Zubiri that there is a feeling that they want the new president to make the appointments of officials. I guess the members of the CA shared that sentiment, hence, the bypass," Paras said in a text message.

There is no word yet on whether Marcos would reappoint the five officials, whose posts carry a seven-year term.

"We have no information as to whether or not they will be appointed. We are only appreciative of the gesture that the President-elect’s opinion or choices on the officials are taken into consideration," Incoming presidential communications secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles told state-run People's Television last Wednesday.

Under Article VII, Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution, a president or acting president shall not make appointments two months immediately before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his term, except temporary appointments to executive posts "when continued vacancies therein will prejudice public service or endanger public safety." 

MARTIN ANDANAR

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