MANILA -- Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Friday upheld the decision of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to appoint his personal optometrist to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Optometry.

Celebrity optometrist Vivian Sarabia, who designed the eyeglasses of the President and his sister TV-host Kris Aquino, was sworn into office last Thursday together with 32 other new presidential appointees.

In his daily press briefing, Lacierda refused to compare Sarabia’s appointment with the decision of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointing her manicurist Anita “Nitz” Carpon as board member of Pag-Ibig Housing Fund.

“You’re comparing apples and oranges here. The manicurist was appointed to Pag-ibig. And Dr. Sarabia is being appointed to the Board of Optometry. She is after all an optometrist. You’re appointing a competent person to an agency or a board where she is competent to be part of,” he stressed.

Former President Arroyo also appointed her gardener Armando Macapagal as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration.

Lacierda said Sarabia has proven her competence in making eyeglasses and she could “very well contribute to the development of the optometry profession”.

He appealed to look into the vast experience of Sarabia, noting it is unfair that her appointment was questioned because of her professional relationship with the President and even his sister Kris.

“That premise is a bit unfair on the part of Dr. Sarabia. We’re looking at competence here. The fact that she was the eye glass maker of the President should not be an issue at the moment.” (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)