CA panel recommends Roxas as DILG chief

Posted at 09/19/2012 12:27 PM | Updated as of 09/19/2012 1:43 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Mar Roxas received the recommendation of the Commission on Appointments’ Interior and Local Government Committee for his confirmation as DILG chief.

This is despite a threat from Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago to block his confirmation at the plenary level later today.

During the hearing, Roxas said he will prioritize law and order as DILG chief.

Roxas was also asked by Sen. Panfilo Lacson about his definition of insanity and how this will guide him in his plan for the DILG.

He defined insanity as the act of a person repeatedly doing a certain action and expecting a different outcome.

Asked what actions he will take in the DILG to get a different outcome, he said his first order of business is to find out the available data such as police blotters and make meaningful analysis.

“My impression is all of these reports in the blotter are simply docketed and quite difficult to relate one incident with another. Therefore, patterns of crime (are) difficult to come by,” he said.

He praised the initiative of his predecessor, the late Secretary Jesse Robredo, to ascribe a “seal of good housekeeping” to local government units that champion transparency.

He said the same principle can be applied to police authorities. “They can be more actively engaged in reporting, prosecuting and elimination of crime,” he said.

He also admitted that jueteng is a scourge that can only be eliminated through political will. He said jueteng will only be present if there is collusion among the gambling syndicates, local officials and the police.

No disrespect to Miriam

Meanwhile, Roxas clarified that his decision not to appear in the Senate investigation on resigned DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno was not meant to disrespect Senator Miriam Santiago, who led the probe.

In the hearing, Sen. Tito Sotto read a letter from Santiago where she said she will invoke Section 20 of the Rules of the CA and block the appointment of Roxas for snubbing the Puno hearing. Section 20 authorizes a member of the CA to block one’s nomination.

In her letter, Santiago said Roxas is more than qualified to handle the DILG post but said she already announced that she will oppose the nomination of any Cabinet member who snubbed the hearing.