November 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm
John Paolo Bencito
ENVIRONMENT Secretary Regina Paz Lopez remains the only Cabinet member not nominated by Malacañang for confirmation to the Commission on Appointments as of Tuesday, records showed.
After failing to get the commission’s nod in the last session of Congress after its Halloween recess, Malacañang again nominated 15 of the unconfirmed Cabinet secretaries including Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., ICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
Likewise named by Malacañang to the commission were Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Malacañang nominated Lopez before she was bypassed following the Congress’ break.
Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said Lopez’s non-appointment “might have been overlooked” by the Palace.
Lopez has been under scrutiny for her anti-mining stance. She has been leading a crackdown on mining companies claiming there is no such thing as responsible mining.
The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines has reiterated its concern over Lopez’s integrity following the role of confirmed anti-mining civil society organizations.
The CA has already approved the appointments of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Several members of the Judicial and Bar Council and military men also got the CA’s nod.
But the Ambassador to the United Nations Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana have been bypassed.