Dinky: Please don't pit me vs Miriam

Posted at 06/09/14 9:52 AM

MANILA - Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman has nothing but respect for Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago who has promised to block Soliman's confirmation before the Commission on Appointments.

In a press statement, Soliman said she feels "relentlessly prodded" to say something bad against the senator after she was recommended for confirmation before the Senate plenary of the CA.

"I have nothing ill to say about Sen. Santiago. I respect and recognize her right to perform her fiscalizing role," the social welfare chief said.

"Hence, I appeal to the public in general and the media in particular, please do not pit Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and me against each other," she added.

Soliman said the check and balance in the country's democracy is strengthened by Santiago's diligence.

She added that the senator's independence of mind and determination to seek truth "are appreciated by many including myself."

She also said she continues to pray for Senator Santiago's health after the latter was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Santiago earlier said she is planning to invoke Section 20 of the CA Rules to suspend consideration of Soliman's nomination as Department of Social Welfare and Development secretary.

The senator said she has been opposed to Soliman's nomination from the very beginning of the Aquino administration because the DSWD chief was a "fervent devotee of President Arroyo" who then changed allegiances and joined President Aquino's "daang matuwid."

She also described Soliman as "dangerous" and said she has received information that the DSWD chief had denounced her.

Last week, Santiago also criticized an alleged plot to block her veto after the panel that approved Soliman's confirmation at the committee level did not submit a report, which would have been tackled at the CA's en banc session for deliberations.