CA suspends deliberation on DOJ chief’s appointment

By , on June 4, 2014

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. Screenshot from Zamboanga Times footage.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. Screenshot from Zamboanga Times footage.

MANILA – The Commission on Appointments (CA) Committee on Justice and Judicial and Bar Council on Wednesday suspended the deliberation on the ad interim appointment of Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima.

The CA panel required De Lima to submit written answer to the opposition hurled against her by the Whistleblowers Association of the Philippines president Sandra Cam before the next hearing set on June 11.

CA Committee chairman Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III also considered in the suspension of deliberation the request of Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano for one more hearing on De Lima’s appointment.

Cam accused De Lima of “selective justice, incompetence, lies, political alliance and bias” in favor of controversial Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the pork barrel scam.

Cam also submitted to the CA panel an affidavit which, according to Pimentel, contains “mixed of personal knowledge and allegations” on De Lima’s private life.

Pimentel granted the request of De Lima to instead submit written comments on Cam’s affidavit.

”I preferred not to talk publicly and engage insofar as those issues are concerned,” De Lima replied when Sen. Jinggoy Estrada tried to bring up the matter.

Estrada, however, clarified he has no intention of blocking the confirmation of De Lima despite accusing the DOJ chief of receiving P1 million allowance as then chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) from former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

De Lima said she only received P500,000 as “confidential and intelligence fund” sometimes given every quarter and not every month as alleged by Estrada.

De Lima also denied allegations that she was not addressing the media killings and human rights violations.

”That is farthest from the truth. In fact, I recommended to the President (Benigno S. Aquino III) the creation of the high-level inter-agency committee to investigate the media killings,” De Lima said.

The CA Committee on Constitutional Commission and Offices also suspended the deliberation on the appointment of Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heide Mendoza and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Grace Padaca due to lack of time.

The CA Committee on Labor, Employment and Social Welfare, on the other hand, endorsed the confirmation of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon J. Soliman in the plenary.

The CA panel, however, decided to schedule the confirmation of Soliman in the plenary on June 11, the last session day before the sine die adjournment of the 16th Congress.

Only the confirmation of 49 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reached the plenary session as endorsed by the CA Committee on National Defense.

The confirmed military officials were Richard Lagrana, Donato San Juan, Martin Pinto, Ivan Samarita, Ruben Carandang, Anselmo Doroteo Junsay III, Virgilio Garcia, Ronaldo Albano, Rodolfo Santiago, Henry Sabarre, Reynaldo Mutiangpili, Roberto Theodore Romero, Rafael Valencia, Domingo Palisoc Jr., Jose Tanjuan Jr., Carlito Galvez Jr., Elmer Pabale, Jose Johriel Cenabre, Benjamin Espiritu, Eduardo Davalan, and Joselito Kakilala who were promoted to the grade of Brigadier General.

Those promoted to Major General include Domingo Tutaan Jr., Yerson Depayso, Eusaquito Manalo, Oscar Lopez, Ricardo Visaya, Felicito Virgilio Trinidad Jr., Leonardo Guerrero, Silvino Alcabasa Jr., Lysander Suerte, Oscar Lactao, Julius Guillermo, Remigio Valdez and Emeraldo Magnaye.

The CA also confirmed new Read Admirals Romeo Santiago Nebres and Alexander Lopez; Commodores Enrico Juan Talon, Severino Vicente David, Aurelio Rabusa Jr., Rafael Mariano, and Jorge Amba; Lt. Generals Hernando Iriberri and Jeffrey Delgado; Vice Admiral Jesus Millan; and Col. Edmundo Dante Janda and Ma. Linda Oropesa.