WHEN Justice Secretary Leila de Lima left the Commission on Appointments hearing last week, two faces were shown to the public, both not at her own bidding.

One was that of a nominee who hasn't been confirmed for four years and yet hasn't asked C.A. officials and members to help her.

The other was that of a woman, the top law enforcer of the land, being questioned on national stage about an alleged affair with her married driver.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said she should've approached the C.A. members, a "tradition," he said, for an appointee to be confirmed.

Paying homage could've secured the vote. That must have offended her sensibility although one wouldn't be sure now if she shunned courtesy calls out of "delicadeza" or from some arrogant confidence that she enjoyed the president's trust.

That de Lima face certainly is what the public mostly sees: feisty and tenacious to get things done "ala PNoy" (which Cabinet secretaries trustingly accept as "the right way").

Forbidden sex

The other face was of a woman pressured to demean herself if she'd answer a question about illicit sex.

De Lima must have been deeply outraged even as she barely concealed embarrassment. Was the job that required C.A. blessing so valuable she must be publicly be shamed about a private act and threatened with exposure through purported sex videos?

Prurient interest must have overwhelmed appreciation for propriety. C.A. interrogators knew what would draw public interest.