Drilon: PDAF scam probe won't affect de Lima's confirmation
MANILA - Her agency's role in investigating the so-called pork barrel scam that allegedly involves several lawmakers won't affect Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's chances of getting confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), according to the body's chairman.
Senate President Franklin Drilon, who chairs the CA, said on Wednesday that the issue may be raised during hearings on de Lima's appointment.
"But I am not confident that this will not affect the judgment of the members of the commission on the qualifications and competence of the nominees," he told reporters. De Lima's appointment as chief of the Department of Justice has not been confirmed by the CA since 2010. She had been bypassed and had to be reappointed several times.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., one of five senators who were implicated in the pork barrel scam, said he won't block de Lima's confirmation because of the DOJ investigation.
"That's not my style," he said.
The CA, composed of 24 senators and congressmen, convened and elected its officers and committee chairs on Wednesday.
Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento was named vice chairman of the body. Rep. Rodolfo Farinas was elected majority floor leader, and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile minority floor leader.
The following lawmakers were named committee chairs in the CA, which has the power to confirm presidential appointments:
Accounts - Rep. Rosendo Labadlabad
Agrarian Reform - Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV
Agriculture and Food - Rep. Roy Loyola
Budget and Management - Sen. Vicente Sotto III
Constitutional Commissions - Sen. Teofisto Guingona III
Education, Culture, and Sports - Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano
Energy - Sen. Sergio Osmena III
Environment and Natural Resources - Sen. Loren Legarda
Ethics - Rep. Rodolfo Albano
Finance - Sen. Ralph Recto
Foreign Affairs - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
Government Corporations and Other Offices - Rep. Catalina Leonen-Pizzaro
Health - Sen. Jinggoy Estrada-
Interior and Local Government, Regional Consultative Commissions, and Regional Autonomous Governments - Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Justice and Judicial and Bar Council - Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III
Labor, Employment, and Social Welfare - Rep. Conrado Estrella Jr.
National Defense - Rep. Anthony del Rosario
Public Works and Highways - Rep. Rufus Rodriguez
Rules - Rep. Rodolfo Farinas
Science and Technology - Rep. Catalina Leonen-Pizzaro
Tourism - Rep. Antonio Lagdameo Jr
Trade and Industry - Rep. Antonio Lagdameo Jr.
Transportation and Communication - Rep. George Arnaiz
Drilon said the CA hopes to confirm the nominations of military officials and ambassadors before the end of August. He sees no objection from CA members to any of the appointees.
De Lima and other Cabinet secretaries whose nominations have not yet been confirmed will be scheduled for hearings on September, Drilon said.