Lawmakers call for better vetting of Marcos appointees
MANILA — The main opposition lawmaker in the House of Representatives on Wednesday called for better vetting of Cabinet members following the resignation of several appointees by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. before marking his first 100 days of mandate.
Although the president has the power to appoint members of his cabinet, he must be “shrewd and careful … because public funds must not be wasted on the emoluments of unworthy officials”, said the representative of the first district of Albay , Edcel Lagman, in a statement.
“When Cabinet Secretaries so early in their tenure leave their posts, voluntarily or forcibly, the process of vetting their appointments is sorely lacking. The qualification, character, and integrity of the President’s appointees reflect the wisdom or whim of the appointing authority. said Lagman, who is the new president of the Liberal Party.
Lagman added that while partisan credentials influence nominations, they should not be “bottom up in talent, merit and experience.”
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles and Audit Commission Chairman Jose Calida have resigned from their positions for health reasons, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In September, longtime Marcos assistant Victor Rodriguez also resigned as executive secretary, weeks after he was tagged in the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s allegedly illegal go-ahead signal for imports.
But House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda believes Marcos made “competent appointments.”
“Overall, the President’s first 100 days have been a period of stabilization, amid global disruption. I look forward to working with our President on all of his key legislative priorities,” he said.
For Salceda, the president is moving forward cautiously but decisively in critical areas, including agricultural imports, fiscal policy and handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
But he said Marcos could work on 4 areas that would propel his reform agenda, including restrictions on foreign equity in renewable energy, regulation of offshore gambling, transition from pandemic to endemic stage and improving the country’s ability to earn money.