It’s strike 2 for 3 members of Cabinet | Inquirer News

It’s strike 2 for 3 members of Cabinet

The Senate has decided that Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu were deemed bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) following the holding of a special session of Congress on July 22.

Ubial, Taguiwalo and Mariano had been bypassed for the second time while Cimatu was bypassed for the first time.



Malacañang, however, has reappointed the four Cabinet secretaries, who under the new CA rules, faced an automatic vote on their appointments by the body if they have been bypassed three times.


Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III told reporters on Tuesday that the chamber had agreed on his premise that the four Cabinet members were deemed bypassed following the special session of Congress on July 22, which he opined counted as one regular session of Congress.

It was Sotto who raised on the floor the question on the status of the four Cabinet members in the CA after the special session on the extension of martial law was held on July 22.

“If these three Cabinet members (Ubial, Taguiwalo and Mariano) are not yet confirmed on October 13 (when Congress goes on a monthlong recess), it would be strike 3 for them … and this means that on the session from Nov. 13 to Dec. 12, [the CA] has to vote [to confirm them or not],” he said.

No reappointment papers

Sotto said the four Cabinet secretaries were reappointed by Malacañang on July 23 or a day after the special session of Congress and thus, they are considered ad interim appointees.

But he also said they still did not have the reappointment papers of the four Cabinet secretaries.


“We cannot take them up if we don’t have their papers,” he said.

Power to check

The ruling that the four Cabinet secretaries were deemed bypassed after the special session came from the Senate legal counsel and the Senate parliamentary counseling service.

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“Consequently if for any reason Congress adjourns a regular or special session without organizing the CA, Congress should be deemed to have implicitly exercised said power to check by allowing the ad interim appointment to lapse as provided for in the Constitution,” the Senate legal counsel said.

TAGS: Paulyn Ubial, Rodrigo Duterte, Roy Cimatu

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