Cabinet secretaries who failed to get the nod of the Commission on Appointments (CA) before the start of Congress’ first adjournment tomorrow would be considered bypassed and would have to be reappointed by President Marcos if he wishes to keep them, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said yesterday.
The CA was unable to tackle the appointments of more than 10 Cabinet officials due to lack of time. Both Houses of Congress are set to adjourn on Oct. 1. The last day of plenary session is usually set on the last Wednesday before the scheduled adjournment.
Considered technically bypassed were Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Trixie Angeles, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Human Settlements Secretary Jose Acuzar, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan Uy, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople, Public Works Secretary Manuel Bonoan, Science Secretary Renato Solidum Jr., Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, National Economic and Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan, and Commission on Audit Chairman Jose Calida.
The commission also bypassed the nomination of Nelson Celis as commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Also in the list of officials bypassed by the CA was former executive secretary Victor Rodriguez, who resigned from his post earlier this month.
Malacañang has yet to respond to queries on whether Marcos would reappoint the bypassed officials.
“All the secretaries, not just Sec. Tulfo and Sec. Bonoan who have not been confirmed will have to seek reappointment by the President as they would all be considered bypassed,” said Zubiri.
The CA was supposed to tackle Tulfo’s and Bonoan’s appointments on Wednesday but they were deferred due to time constraints. “There was a lack of material time. Minus two secretaries earlier and we finished the CA plenary at 5 p.m. which ate into our Senate session at 3 p.m.,” he explained.
“If we pursued Sec. Tulfo and Bonoan, we would have finished at 7 p.m. and would have started the Senate session at 7:30. That is not possible, as we had to ratify two important bicam reports that would become law. We cannot also sacrifice our work in the Senate,” Zubiri said.
Tulfo and Bonoan were at the Senate premises yesterday where the CA was holding its hearings. Congress will resume session on Nov. 7.
The CA has so far confirmed the appointments of Comelec Chairman George Garcia, Civil Service Commission Chairman Karlo Nograles, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III, Environment Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, academe representative to the Judicial and Bar Council Nesauro Hernandez Firme, and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman.