No one blocking Padaca, Mendoza appointments—Sen. Estrada
Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada on Sunday said neither he nor the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) coalition would unnecessarily block the confirmation of Grace Padaca as election commissioner and Heidi Mendoza as deputy audit commissioner when they come up before the Commission on Appointments (CA).
Estrada, of the opposition UNA, chairs the CA constitutional commission, while Padaca is a member of the administration Liberal Party (LP).
As for Mendoza, she had launched an investigation into a deal Vice President Jejomar Binay, a top UNA leader, allegedly entered into when he was mayor of Makati City, which reportedly upset Binay.
The Commission on Audit (COA) has launched a probe of the P17.23-million purchase by the Makati government of buildings to house informal settlers but which were converted into hotels instead for visiting officials from Makati’s sister cities.
Mendoza has denied involvement in the probe, saying it was spurred by a complaint received by the COA’s citizens’ desk.
Estrada admitted during a taped radio interview that aired Sunday that some CA members opposed Mendoza’s appointment but did not elaborate.
He said he had advised Mendoza of the situation and that he wanted the issues against her settled before his CA committee discussed her appointment.
“She has already submitted all documentary requirements. I spoke to (Mendoza) a long time ago and I told her about the oppositors. Many want to oppose her confirmation,” Estrada said.
Asked if Binay was among those blocking Mendoza’s appointment, Estrada said: “The Vice President has nothing to do with this. I have not discussed (Mendoza’s appointment) with the Vice President. Besides he does not meddle in the affairs of the (CA).”
As for Padaca, Estrada said he would be ready to conduct a hearing on her appointment provided she fulfilled all the documentary requirements of the CA.
One issue hounding Padaca is the graft case filed against her as Isabela governor that is pending in the Sandiganbayan.
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