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No need for Diokno to get CA nod, Palace clarifies

MANILA. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno. (SunStar File)

THERE was no need for newly-installed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno to get the approval of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA), Malacañang said Wednesday, March 6.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the clarification a day after expressing confidence that Diokno's "integrity, competence, and expertise" are enough qualities to convince the CA to confirm the latter's new appointment.

"After further evaluation of relevant laws and jurisprudence surrounding the appointment of former secretary of Budget and Management Benjamin E. Diokno as the new governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, it is the position of the Palace that the said appointment need not be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments," Panelo said in a statement.

On Tuesday, March 5, Panelo believed that Diokno, a former Budget secretary prior to his new appointment, would get the CA's nod, stressing that the new bank central chief has all the qualities needed for the post.

Under Article 2, Section 6(a) of Republic Act 7653 of the New Central Bank Act, the appointment of BSP governor, as head of the department, "shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointment."

But in his latest remark, Panelo noted that the position of BSP governor does not need to get the CA's confirmation, according to Article 7, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution.

Panelo cited that under the said provision of the Constitution, those who need approval of CA are heads of the executive departments; ambassadors; other public ministers and consuls; officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain; and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President under the Constitution, such as commissioners of Constitutional Commissions.

"A perusal thereof reveals that the governor of the BSP does not fall under any of the categories of officials," he said.

Panelo also took note of the case "In Calderon vs Carale," saying that "the issue resolved by the Supreme Court was 'whether or not Congress may, by law, require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of appointments extended by the President to government officers additional to those expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16, Article 7 of the Constitution.'"

"The Supreme Court ruled in the negative, explaining that Congress cannot amend the provisions of the Constitution by mere legislation," he said.

He also cited that while the petition in "Tarrosa vs Singson" case was dismissed due to its nature and the lack of legal standing of the petitioner, the Supreme Court in the said case "had the occasion to cite the above-mentioned case of Calderon vs Carale."

"[The hight court] also explain[s] that, 'Congress cannot by law expand the confirmation powers of the Commission on Appointments and require confirmation of appointment of other government officials not expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Section 16 of Article VII of the Constitution,'" Panelo said.

"For everyone's information, the said case involved the appointment of Mr. Gabriel C. Singson as BSP governor. Following the dismissal of the case, Mr. Singson's appointment therefore did not undergo a confirmation process with the CA," he added.

Given the doctrines, Panelo stressed that a governor of BSP no longer needs CA's approval.

"In view of the foregoing doctrines, as well as the fact that a governor of the BSP is not covered by Article VII, Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution, his appointment being provided by mere legislation, it is submitted that the appointment of former secretary and new BSP governor Diokno does not need confirmation from the CA," he said.

Before being appointed BSP chief, Diokno was urged to resign as Budget secretary because of controversies hounding the Budget department and the supposed insertions in the proposed 2019 budget. (SunStar Philippines)


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