Duque breezes through confirmation at CA

Doctor, not a lawyer, heads CSC

MANILA, Philippines—After rejecting a former Cabinet secretary appointed to the post by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for not being a lawyer, the Commission on Appointments (CA) gave the nod to a doctor to head the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

The CA Wednesday confirmed the appointment of former Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, one of several appointments it confirmed on the last session day of Congress and the last few months of the Arroyo administration.

The President appointed Duque to the CSC post after the CA rejected her earlier appointee, Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo, ostensibly because Saludo was not a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. (Saludo’s immediate predecessor at the CSC, Karina David, was not a lawyer.)

Saludo, who has chosen not to go to court to protest the unconstitutionality of the basis for the CSC’s rejection of his appointment, has since returned to Malacañang as a deputy presidential spokesperson.

In recommending the confirmation of Duque, Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza said Duque’s “vast” administration experience made him suitable to manage the civil service body.

“Duque is far better than Saludo when it comes to his experience,” he said.

Also confirmed by the CA was Evelyn San Buenaventura as Commission on Audit commissioner to replace Reynaldo Villar.

Brig. Gen. Romeo Prestoza’s promotion to major general was approved, after initial opposition by some members of the CA national defense committee like Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Prestoza was among 170 military officers whose promotions were approved.

Also confirmed was Regino Hermosisima Jr., as a member of the Judicial and Bar Council, representing the justices of the Supreme Court.

The CA also confirmed the appointment of seven ambassadors to various foreign posts and promoted two chiefs of mission.

Confirmed were ambassadors Bahnarim A. Guinomla (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives), Linglingay Lacanlale (Thailand and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific), Bayani Mangibin (Iraq), Eva Betita (Brazil, Colombia, Guyana and Suriname), Lourdes Yparraguirre (Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic), Nestor Padalhin (Nigeria and 17 other African nations) and Romeo Manalo (Italy).

Confirmed as chiefs of mission were Cecilia Rebong and Patricia Ann Paez. The latter’s promotion was questioned at the hearing by the Department of Foreign Affairs officers’ union for not meeting the requirement of three years’ residency, among other criteria. Christine Avendaño

Courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer

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