BBM can ‘choose’ appointees for constitutional bodies

June 4, 2022 People's Tonight 134 views

HOUSE of Representatives Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez said Friday that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte could choose to either not renew the ad interim appointments or reappoint the bypassed officials, including the chiefs of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Commission on Audit (COA).

Rodriguez made the statement in reaction to the move of the Commission on Appointments (CA) to bypass the ad interim appointments of Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia, Comelec Commissioner Aimee Torrefranca-Neri, CSC Chairman Karlo Nograles, and COA Chairperson Rizalina Justol.

Duterte appointed them during the election recess of Congress.

“I think the President will choose the first option and let his successor fill the Comelec, COA, and CSC vacancies, in the same manner, that the CA bypassed the appointees to give the incoming President that same opportunity,” he said.

Rodriguez noted that if they are reappointed, they could face the same fate in the CA of the next Congress as they suffered last Wednesday.

“By then, the new President will already have assumed office, and he will have a free hand in appointing or nominating constitutional officers,” he said.

Rodriguez said the chairmanships of the three constitutional commissions and two other offices will be vacated on Saturday, which is the official adjournment of Congress based on the legislative calendar and not on June 30.

“By operation of the Constitution and the CA rules, these positions become vacant upon the adjournment of the session of Congress,” he said.

Rodriguez said the appointing power of the President and the scope and authority of the CA to give its consent to or approve such appointments are contained in Section 16 of Article Vll (on the Executive Department) of the Constitution.

He said the second paragraph of Section 16, which applies to the five bypassed appointees, provides: “The President shall have the power to make appointments during the recess of the Congress, whether voluntary or compulsory, but such appointments shall be effective only until after disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress.”

He said it is clear under this provision that the appointments issued to the five constitutional officials are valid only up to June 3.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson, Communication Secretary Martin Andanar, said they respect the CA’s move to bypass the outgoing President’s appointments.

“We recognize the power vested by the Constitution in the Commission on Appointments and further respect its authority to confirm appointments made by the President,” Andanar said in a statement. Philippine News Agency