CA confirmation of Robredo of no consequence, says EnrileBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It wouldn’t matter whether the late Jesse Robredo is confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), even if posthumously, as interior and local government secretary, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Wednesday.
“Whether he was confirmed or not, it makes no difference. He will be secretary of interior and local government in the political history of this country, confirmation or no confirmation,” Enrile told reporters after a Senate inquiry.
The Commission on Appointments failed to confirm Robredo’s appointment as secretary despite his competence as a public official and integrity as a person. It has moved to have him confirmed posthumously.
“Every signature he made before his death is valid except if they’re illegal or unconstitutional,” Enrile said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said most members of the commission’s committee on interior and local government that he chairs were ready to accept Robredo as early as when he was appointed secretary in July 2010.
Sotto, however, said it was only in the middle of 2011 that Malacañang submitted Robredo’s appointment and it was only in late November 2011 when Robredo completed the documents the commission had required.
Too many breaks, politics
The Christmas break, the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the Lenten break, and the resumption of the impeachment kept the commission from meeting regularly to tackle Robredo’s confirmation.
Sotto earlier told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that politics in Camarines Sur province also played a role in the delay of Robredo’s confirmation process.
Enrile, nonetheless, acknowledged that a posthumous confirmation could be studied although he said this had not been done before.
“We have to study it. Not that I don’t want [him] to be confirmed. In fact, we had him scheduled for confirmation, but as far as my recollection goes, it has never been done,” Enrile said.
He said he had lost “a friend” when Robredo died. “About a month ago, he came to my office and we talked about certain things regarding the country and our future,” he said.
Ready to confirm
“Then, all of a sudden, I heard that he was missing one evening. As the night started to deepen and he was not found, I had started to have my doubts about his survival. So I prayed for him,” the Senate President said.
Sotto said in the plenary session that his committee was already ready to report out the nomination of Robredo when Congress resumed session in July.
“We were going to confirm Secretary Robredo on Aug. 29. Just for the record, your Honor,” Sotto told the Senate.
In an earlier interview, Sotto said the commission was supposed to tackle Robredo’s confirmation on Aug. 15 but House members asked that it be moved due to the necrological services for another Bicolano leader, Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero.
Sotto said the confirmation hearing was set for Aug. 22 but Robredo had told him that he couldn’t make it on that date. Thus, the confirmation hearing was set for Aug. 29.
Malacañang welcomed the reported plan of the Commission on Appointments to posthumously confirm Robredo’s nomination to the DILG post.
“This is an example of a worthy Cabinet official who can be confirmed anytime. But I will not preempt the Commission on Appointments … At least, they can see now the response of the public, response of the Filipino people to Secretary Jesse Robredo. It’s an outpouring of admiration, outpouring of respect for Secretary Robredo,” Lacierda said. With a report from Gil Cabacungan
Originally posted at 06:53 pm | Wednesday, August 22, 2012
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