What are they in power for?

The Commission on Appointments (CA) was under siege recently for supposedly dragging its feet  on the confirmation of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo with some within Noynoy’s circle talking as if its members did a big disservice to the cause of good government.

It is the usual fare of the Noynoy government: Its penchant for laying the blame on others — except itself.
Unknown to many, however, was that Robredo got his appointment papers only recently or on the second year of Noynoy’s term as Robredo held the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) post in an acting capacity since the strategic Cabinet seat is being hotly contested among the allies of Noynoy.
Noynoy had given Robredo limited authority in the DILG as control of Philippine National Police (PNP) was placed under the wings of Noynoy shooting buddy Undersecretary Rico Puno who appeared to have become dispensable after the appointment of Roxas.

There were valid reasons for the delay in confirmation by the CA, but Noynoy and his Malacañang propagandists, in their bid to generate public sympathy for Robredo by exploiting his death, made him out to be bigger than he really was in life and then blamed the CA for not confirming Robredo immediately, apart from which Malacañang is using the same blame game on the CA to get its two new appointees confirmed without any question.

Now the CA is again pushed into  public consciousness with the appointment of two key Liberal Party (LP) leaders, LP president Manuel Roxas II to fill the vacant DILG post and LP secretary general Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya as Transportation and Communications secretary for whom Noynoy personally appealed to the powerful bicameral body to facilitate their confirmation.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also gave his assurance that he will push the immediate holding of the CA process once the appointment papers of both are transmitted to the body.

Yet Abaya himself is not confident of hurdling the CA with ease, expressing his apprehension about the senators who sit in the CA without mentioning any name.

It was strange that a candidate for confirmation to say that he had cast doubts on his chances at the body unless he had a valid reason for it. The CA would have to rule unanimously to validate an appointment. Just one dissent and the confirmation process is stalled.

Whatever is the reason of Abaya, it seems that he is anticipating realpolitik to figure prominently in his and Mar’s confirmation process with the elections next year in every politicians’ crosshairs.

The fact that the head of a political party effectively gets control of the agency overseeing local governments will definitely also come into play in getting the CA’s nod.

The argument raised by some sectors against Vice President Jojo Binay from holding the top DILG post in that his ambition for the presidency may get into the way of effectively running DILG also perfectly applies to Roxas, who remains LP’s main presidential timber.

In all likelihood, both LP insertions in the Cabinet will definitely earn the political payback that is expected from the brazen motive on their appointments.

The appointment of Abaya and Roxas cannot be dismissed as having no political considerations and both just happen to be the LP’s top guns.

The ruling party is consolidating its forces for the elections next year and the 2016 presidential race and Noynoy is talking of Roxas and Abaya being placed in their posts to continue the reform process?

The posting of both is the LP again saying “What are we in power for?”

Written by  
Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:00

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