Bayan hits postponement of Taguiwalo’s confirmation hearing
Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Wednesday expressed grave concern over the postponement of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, saying the delay was supposedly connected to the latter’s stand against pork barrel patronage.
Taguiwalo, together with Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) in March, but was reappointed by President Rodrigo Duterte the following month. She was supposed to face the CA for the second time Wednesday morning.
“This is in stark contrast to the 5-minute confirmation of DFA Sec. Alan Cayetano. We denounce the postponement. We are concerned that this is again linked to Judy’s principled stand against pork barrel patronage,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said in a statement.
The CA on Wednesday approved the appointment of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as Foreign Affairs Secretary in just minutes, and suspended deliberations on the appointment of Health secretary-designate Paulyn Ubial. It postponed Taguiwalo’s second appointment hearing for next week.
“She has stated that DSWD funds are not pork barrel funds of lawmakers. Is this postponement a prelude to Judy’s rejection? Will the CA again uphold narrow interests over public welfare?” Reyes added.
In August last year, Taguiwalo issued Memorandum Circular 9 which seeks to stop the practice of giving preference to endorsement or referral of congressmen on the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) choice of beneficiaries for its projects and assistance.
Taguiwalo, an activist-professor of the University of the Philippines, was nominated by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, after President Duterte said he would like to offer Cabinet positions to the Left.
Taguiwalo’s first appearance before the CA turned controversial after Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III made a remark about her status as a solo parent, which sparked online outrage.
The CA has so far rejected the appointments of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. JE
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