Major vacancies in constitutional commissions

Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 7, 2015 - 12:00am

In one rare moment in history, the President of the Philippines is given the singular opportunity to appoint three very strategically critical positions, created under the fundamental law: the three chairs of the three constitutional commissions, namely, the Comelec, the COA and the CSC. The three heads of these very important agencies did some excellent jobs in cleaning up the organization and management of these commissions, and left some landmark legacies that are hard to equal, much less to surpass. PNoy should appoint worthy successors.

With the 2016 presidential elections, the choice of one very reliable, competent and honest chair is a crucial decision to make. The Comelec administers and enforces all election laws and exercises exclusive and original jurisdiction over all cases relating to elections and qualifications of provincial, city, municipal officials and exercises appellate jurisdiction over barangay election cases. Registration of all voters and the conduct of all elections including the presidential, senatorial, and congressional contests are its responsibilities. A dishonest and incompetent Comelec can destroy the nation.

The COA has the primary powers to examine, audit and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenues and receipts of public funds and the disbursements, uses and expenses of public money as well as utilization of government properties pertaining to the national government and all its subdivisions, agencies, and instrumentalities. They include government-owned and controlled corporations. It also audits autonomous governments, local government units, state universities and colleges, and even our embassies and consulates all over the world. In the face of so many graft cases and corruption charges, the COA plays a vital role in safeguarding the government coffers.

The CSC is the central HR department of the entire Philippine bureaucracy, which covers more than a million civil servants that includes those employed in the local government units, in the public schools and even the autonomous governments in the Cordilleras and in Muslim Mindanao. The CSC even covers government-owned and controlled corporations with original charters. It conducts civil service examinations in the whole country and certifies permanent and regular employment. Its functions affect the lives and livelihoods of millions. Chair Duque was an excellent public official. The next chair should be an excellent one.

It is thus very critically vital that the president should choose very carefully from among his friends and trusted allies, and even from other groups so as to de-politicize these constitutional commissions. As unsolicited nominations, we have the honor to suggest the names of representative Leny Robredo and Atty Francis Tolentino of the MMDA for the positions of chair of either the Comelec  or the Civil Service Commission. We also nominate BIR Chair Kim Henares for the position of COA chair. We also suggest a Cebuano, perhaps atty Pablo Garcia as chair of the Comelec if Robredo and Tolentino are not chosen. Better still, put De Lima in the Comelec and lawyer Pabling as Justice Secretary.

If the president needs competent men and women of character and integrity, he may wish to expand the field of his choices outside the exclusive circle of his friends. These posts are very vital to the nation and these are very critical times. He owes it to the nation to choose well and choose right.  In his own words: There is no room for mediocrity. Just show us, Mr. President.

 

CHAIR CHAIR DUQUE CHAIR KIM HENARES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION COMELEC DE LIMA GOVERNMENT JUSTICE SECRETARY LENY ROBREDO AND ATTY FRANCIS TOLENTINO MR. PRESIDENT MUSLIM MINDANAO
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