Santiago mum on blocking De Lima, Paje appointments-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
MANILA -- Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has yet to decide if she will block the two remaining Cabinet members who have yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.
This developed after Santiago, who earlier vowed to veto the appointment of officials who snubbed her hearing on the issues involving ex-Interior undersecretary Rico Puno, changed her mind on Wednesday and allowed incoming Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II to secure the assignment.
"Let me think (about it)," she told reporters.
De Lima was supposed to detail her participation on the lockdown of the offices of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo while Paje on the government's efforts to stop illegal logging but Malacañang prevented them from attending, citing the lack of resolution and questions that will guide the probe.
Santiago clarified that all is well between her and Roxas, who was her colleague in the Senate from 2004 to 2010.
"I would be the first to say that public service needs someone like Secretary Roxas," she said. "I'm convinced that he's honest and competent."
The senator said nobody lobbied for Roxas' immediate confirmation except that she felt that CA members, both from the House of Representatives and the Senate, wanted her to reconsider her opposition.
Any CA member can invoke Section 20 of the rules which will result in the non-confirmation of the nominee for a high government post. This means the nominee has to be re-appointed by the President and repeat the confirmation process.
"I could sense that it was not a popular move though they would accept that I would do it out of principle not because of any vindictive motive because Mar [Roxas] and I are actually very close," Santiago said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)