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Miriam softens threat on Cabinet ‘lightweights’

By Christian V. Esguerra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:55:00 11/20/2010

Filed Under: Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Government offices & agencies, Education

MANILA, Philippines?After threatening to ?massacre? at least half of President Aquino?s ?lightweight? Cabinet, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Friday began singing a slightly different tune on the fate of Cabinet members before the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA).

Santiago said she would exercise ?compassion, peace and non-violence? during deliberations on the nomination of Cabinet members.

But she said she would still ?press for the rule of law? by invoking a powerful provision in the commission?s rules.

Section 20 states that ?any member may move for the suspension of action by the Commission on any nomination or appointment favorably recommended by a standing committee and the Chairman shall suspend the consideration of said nomination or appointment.?

?The motion is non-debatable. There is no voting. The CA chair has to automatically grant the motion,? she said in a statement.

But the senator said she would ?heed the advice of the Dalai Lama to observe compassion in deciding whether to invoke her one-person veto in the Commission on Appointments over certain Cabinet members.?

Santiago often described the Dalai Lama as her ?friend.?

The statement said she would be ?bound by the Buddhist virtues of compassion, peace and non-violence, but she will press for the rule of law.?

The senator earlier served notice that at least ?half a dozen? of Mr. Aquino?s Cabinet should face rough sailing during the deliberations.

She was particularly incensed at Education Secretary Armin Luistro who allegedly blocked an offer for her to teach political science at the De La Salle University when he was still with the school.

?I?m going to massacre these people,? she had warned. ?This is a very lightweight Cabinet. Boy, they are so lightweight they are liable to float off their own delusions of grandeur.?



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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