CA rejects appointment of Yasay
(Updated, 2:26 p.m.) The powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected on Wednesday the ad interim appointment of Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. amid lingering questions about his citizenship.
He is the first appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte whose appointment was rejected by the CA.
It was Senator Panfilo Lacson, as chairman of the CA’s committee on foreign affairs, who moved to reject Yasay’s appointment.
“The Commission has gone over the qualifications and issues besetting the appointee. After careful deliberations of the foregoing circumstances, and upon a unanimous vote of 15 of its members present in a caucus held this morning, this representation as chair of the foreign affairs, hereby, moves to reject the ad interim appointment of Atty. Perfecto Rivas Yasay Jr. as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. I so move,” Lacson said.
No CA member objected to the motion.
“Any objection? Hearing none, the motion is approved. The ad interim appointment of Secretary Yasay is hereby rejected,” Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said.
When he first appeared in his confirmation before Lacson’s panel last February 22, Yasay denied that he became an American citizen and that he owned a US passport.
But at the resumption of the hearing this Wednesday, he admitted that he was granted US citizenship on November 26, 1986, which he said was voided after he abandoned his US residency.
Yasay also apologized for “inadvertently” misleading the Commission about his US passport.
“When I denied being issued a US passport before this Commission, I have particularly in mind the allegation made by Rappler that I was issued one in 2006 which I can continue to deny for lack of personal knowledge,” he said.
“Let me quickly apologize for having inadvertently misled the Commission on this matter. It has never been my intention to deceive this Commission about my citizenship status,” he added.
After listening to Yasay’s explanation, the panel held an executive session to decide whether to confirm or reject his confirmation. IDL