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Defense, health chiefs vetted after Congress reopens

June 13, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 117 views

THE powerful Commission on Appointments has received the appointment papers of Gilbert Teodoro Jr. as secretary of Department of National Defense \and Teodoro Herbosa as secretary of Department of Health.

This was confirmed by CA Assistant Minority Leader and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, adding that a hearing for their confirmation will resume next month when the Second Regular Session of the 19th Congress will open.

According to Pimentel, Malacañang has delivered to the bicameral CA the appointment papers on June 8.

“The CA won’t be able to tackle their appointments for now because Congress is adjourned. We are not in session,” Pimentel said.

The first regular session of the 19th Congress adjourned on June 3, and the second session won’t commence until July 24.

The 25-member CA is vested by the 1987 Constitution with the power to screen the competence, fitness and integrity of key presidential appointees, and to approve or disapprove them.

Under the Constitution, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is empowered to issue key appointments while Congress is not in session, and such appointments are called ad interim appointments.

“An ad interim appointment has immediate effect. Thus, the individuals who were issued ad interim appointments may enter upon the discharge of their functions right away,” Pimentel said.

An ad interim appointment ceases to be valid upon disapproval by the CA or, if not confirmed, until the next adjournment of Congress, according to Pimentel.

Teodoro served as defense secretary under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, from 2007 to 2009.

Herbosa served as health undersecretary under President Benigno Aquino III, from 2010 to 2015.

Also, the CA has received the nomination papers of Mersole Mellejor as Philippine ambassador to Nigeria, with concurrent jurisdiction over 12 other Central and West African countries, along with the ad interim appointment papers of Raquel Solano as Chief of Mission, Class II.