MANILA, Philippines - A member of the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday wanted to confirm the appointment of Secretary Manuel Roxas as chief of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) even in his absence.
Rep. Rodolfo Antonio proposed to suspend the rules on confirming appointees, after Sen. Panfilo Lacson expressed the urgent need to confirm Roxas as soon as possible because of the importance of his job.
"I would move in this plenary that Sec. Mar Roxas be confirmed as DILG secretary in plenary today … so that tomorrow he can take his oath of office," Antonino said.
Antonino added that the rule of notifying the public about his appointment at least 7 days before the CA confirms him need not be followed because it has been widely publicized.
Besides, he said the CA was already convinced of Roxas' fitness to hold office when it unanimously confirmed him before as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications.
Sen. Joker Arroyo pointed out, however, that the CA may not waive the publication rule, even if he agrees that Roxas should be confirmed earlier than scheduled.
"The public cannot be deprived of the right to oppose and to know," Arroyo said.
"It grieves my heart to object to the suspension of the rules," said Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III. "What's the difference of one week? The nominee is to prepare anyway. Why the precedent?"
Senate President and CA chairman Juan Ponce Enrile added that the CA's integrity would suffer if it breaks its own rules.
To comply with the publication rule, Roxas' confirmation will be held on September 19. This is also in line with his own request, Sotto said.