New DoT chief appointment 'questionable', De Lima tells Senate | Inquirer News

New DoT chief appointment ‘questionable’, De Lima tells Senate

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:42 AM September 06, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — No less than Justice Secretary Leila de Lima acknowledged on Tuesday that the assumption into office of Ramon Jimenez as tourism secretary was “objectionable” and “questionable.”

De Lima admitted this Tuesday during the budget deliberations of the Senate finance committee where Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson questioned the legality of Jimenez’s taking over the Department of Tourism because he has yet to be appointed by Malacanang in an acting capacity.


Lacson said that Jimenez assumed office when he attended the flag-raising ceremony Monday at the DoT.

De Lima said the legality of Jimenez taking over was defensible if he was appointed in an acting capacity.


“If he is in an acting capacity, designated in an acting capacity , yes I think it would be defensible, the legality of that assumption would be defensible . Otherwise, it’s really after an oath of office because an oath office would complete the process,” she said.

“It’s indeed an oath of office so he may not be in an acting capacity,” said Lacson.

“My point is , I think the Secretary of Justice should advise Mr. Ramon Jimenez to get out of that DoT compound fast before he starts signing documents,” he said.

Lacson said Jimenez was still considered a nominee because he could not be issued an ad interim appointment because Congress was in session.

“I didn’t hear the President [Benigno Aquino III] or Malacanang announce his appointment in an acting capacity. In fact, he was designated as the Secretary of Tourism so before he commits or becomes liable for usurpation of authority, I think you should advise him to get out of that compound and wait for his confirmation,” the senator added.

De Lima agreed that there was no clarification that Jimenez was in an acting capacity therefore he should be subject to the general rule. Now they may try to justify that, this argument so that there would be no hiatus but legally speaking or strictly speaking there’s something objectionable, is in fact questionable,” she said.

But Senator Franklin Drilon pointed out that under the Administrative Code, an acting designation can only be issued to somebody who’s already in government.


And based on past practices, Drilon said a prospective department head was appointed presidential adviser first before he or she could be appointed in an acting capacity.

And when Congress adjourns its sessions, then an ad interim appointment can now be issued so the nominee could go through the confirmation process of the Commission on Appointments.

“In the meantime, he performs his functions in an acting capacity and his designation is not yet submitted to the CA [Commission on Appointments] since he’s only in an acting capacity,” Drilon added.

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TAGS: government appointments, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Politics, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez
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