Early on, the powerful Nominations Commission eased its legislative control by throwing in limbo incumbent President Duterte’s “midnight appointees” to the Elections Commission (Chairman Saiamen Pangarungan, Commissioners George Garcia, Aimee Torrefranca -Neri, Audit Commission President Rizalina Noval Justol and Civil Service Commissioner Karlo Nograles.
With the final plenary deliberations of the CA set for tomorrow Wednesday, it is highly likely that Article 20 of the new Senate rules will be applied, ending the interim appointments of these five constitutional officers on Friday, June 3. The CA is based on giving the incoming administration of the PBBM, which won with 31 million votes, carte blanche in the selection of its choices in COMELEC, COA and CSC.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is running as one of the leading candidates for the Senate presidency, is particularly visible in these discussions, while the current AC president is also his formidable opponent. , Senator Cynthia Villar.
Who will get the majority vote of 13 senators when the 19th Congress is called? It should be remembered that almost half of the members of the Senate were replaced during the last elections. Senators Ping Lacson, Frank Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, Dick Gordon, Leila de Lima, Manny Pacquiao, Tito Sotto, Ralph Recto have retired while former Senators Loren Legarda, Alan Cayetano, Jinggoy Estrada, Francis Escudero, JV Ejercito are income. The two outgoing senators Win Gatchalian and Joel Villanueva won new terms. Newcomers Robin Padilla and Raffy Tulfo complete the roster of 24 players.
Now, who are these new senators going to choose as the new president of the Senate? Will they opt for the younger, popular and highly experienced majority leader Migs Zubiri above the 2019 polls, Nacionalista party chairman and likely first female Senate leader Cynthia Villar? This hotly contested Senate leadership deals with the future audit, this time of the new cabinet of the new Marcos administration.
And on the other hand, who will be the new 12 senators and 12 members of Congress and ex-officio president of the next Nominations Commission?
So far, there are 18 Cabinet appointments, all of which have been accepted and will be approved by the powerful Appointments Commission next month. They are Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio (DEPED). Zenaida Angping (PMS), Benjamin Diokno (Finance), Arsenio Balisacan (NEDA), Alfred Pascual (DTI) Felipe Medalla (Central Bank) Amenah Pangandaman (DBM), Jesus Crispin Remulla (Justice) Manny Bonoan (DPWH) Benhur Abalos (DILG) ), Benny Laguesma (Labour) Susan Ople (Migrant workers), Ivan John Enrile Uy (DICT), Cristina Frasco (Tourism), Press Attaché Beatrix Cruz-Angeles and Special Assistant to President Anton Lagdameo.
As of press time, no adverts for high profile positions such as Defense, National Security Advisor, Foreign Affairs, Health, Energy, DOTR, Agriculture, Land Reform, DENR and the DOST.
In keeping with tradition, confirmation by the Board is largely “padrino system of patronage politics”. Given that PBBM will have a supermajority in both houses, it is assumed that they will be approved, but certainly not without difficulty. There is strong pressure for transparency to be demanded in their public hearings. Red-marking issues, past anomalies or cases will be raised against these Cabinet candidates by individuals or groups, especially in public sessions. All future actions of the new CA will be subject to microscopic scrutiny, primarily by the 14 million “pinklawans” or “kakampinks”.
For the record, incumbent President Duterte had six rejected candidates, Perfecto Yasay (DFA), Gina Lopez (DENR), Judy Taguiwalo (DSWD), Rafael Mariano (DAR), Paulyn Ubial (DOH) and Michael Peloton (COMELEC). PGMA had a reject in 2009, Ricardo Saludo (CSC) while FVR also had one with Ramon Del Rosario Jr. (DOF) in 1993.
Overall, PBBM has the best “economics team” in place with Finance Sec. Benjamin Diokno at the helm. On the peace and order side, the choice of former MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos to lead the DILG, overseeing the PNP and Boying Remulla in the Ministry of Justice, overseeing the NBI, are also the top picks.
Benny Laguesma and Susan Ople on the work side it’s perfect but it must correspond to the person appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), who always plays a major role in the follow-up, the assistance and the repatriation of our OFWS to l ‘foreign.
Interesting appointments are Trixie Angeles Cruz as press officer and fellow broadcaster Erwin Tulfo at DSWD. I worked with Erwin many years ago, and he has a sincere and ongoing desire to truly help the poor.
But again, as of today, all of these names are nominations only and can be revoked by PBBM at any time or until rejected by the Commission. And inevitably, problems will derail every cabinet appointment, open complaints, bad public relations, viral memes or even scandals.
And as the old saying goes, as long as you have nothing to hide, you are safe!
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