CA confirms Roxas at committee levelBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines—Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has been confirmed by the powerful Commission on Appointments at the committee level despite opposition filed by three immigration employees.
Roxas’ nomination will now be elevated for plenary approval.
It was Senator Franklin Drilon who recommended Roxas’ nomination for plenary approval during Wednesday hearing of the CA’s committee on interior and local government. Drilon and Roxas both belong to President Benigno Aquino III’s Liberal Party.
Drilon’s motion was immediately seconded by a member of the committee.
Roxas’ nomination was approved despite opposition filed before the committee by three immigration employees – Marivic Sarao, Ferdinand Tendenilla, and Eva Antiporda.
In a letter to the committee dated September 18, 2012, the three accused Roxas of “gross ignorance of the law and abuse of authority” for allegedly issuing ordering airline firms to stop paying overtime pay to Custom, Immigration and Quarantine.
“The said order is patently illegally arbitrary and in contravention of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940,” they said in the letter.
They also accused Roxas of “conduct unbecoming of a public official” for allegedly issuing public statement that the immigration has not been paying taxes and extorting the airline firms.
“This is a reckless and unfounded statement because immigration officers received payment of overtime for services rendered in accordance with the law and there is withholding tax deducted from the overtime pay,” they said.
“Such statement constitutes eloquent proof of a conduct unbecoming of a public official,” the letter added.
The three did not attend the hearing but they were represented by Henry Tuban, immigration’s legal officer.
Tuban said they just wanted Roxas to apologize for issuing such statements.
But Roxas denied the allegation, saying he was just narrating the complaints he has been receiving from the airline firms.
The committee did not act on the opposition to the nomination, saying it was not the proper venue to tackle the issue.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who wrote the committee of her plan to veto Roxas’ appointment was notably absent in the hearing. But she was expected to appear at 1 p.m. plenary session of the CA to block Roxas’ appointment.