MANILA - After almost 4 years, Corazon "Dinky" Soliman got the nod of a committee of the Commission on Appointments (CA) for her to be confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
It took an hour before the Committee on Labor, Employment and Social Welfare of the CA handed their recommendation that Soliman's ad interim appointment be submitted to the commission en banc for confirmation.
Soliman's appointment was questioned because of issues related to her affiliation with Code-NGO, allegations on handling of PEACe bond transactions and questions about a mansion in Alabang she allegedly owned.
Soliman said she had long resigned from her advocacies since she was appointed to DSWD. She also denied owning a mansion in Alabang and made it clear before the committee that she did not take any money from government.
But what puzzled Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Farinas on the appointment of Soliman is why, after almost three years, their record show that today is only the third time that Soliman faced the Commission on Appointments.
It turns out that Soliman has been bypassed by the Commission 15 times.
"Why do you think we should confirm you? Tapos na po ang two-thirds ng byahe nyo. Tapos na 4 years. Ano ba big difference kung ma-confirm kayo?" said Farinas.
"Kung ma-confirm, magkakaroon po ng legitimacy ang aking ginagawa. Kinikilala ko po ang mandate ng legislative, ang magkaroon ng check and balance. Kung di po ako ma-confirm, meron hong kulang na mandato na manggaling dapat sa elected representatives ng ating bayan," Soliman answered.
The committee was satisfied with the answers provided by Soliman and recommended that the DSWD Secretary's name be forwarded to the plenary session of the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.
However, Soliman is not yet assured that her appointment will pass the commission en Banc swiftly. She was not scheduled to face the commission en banc this afternoon.
"Di kasi namin sigurado na maco-confirm sya ngayon. Tapos napakdami ng opisyal na isasalang, may military pa, kaya baka hindi na," said Representative Conrado Estrella, chair of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Social Welfare of the Commission on Appointments
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is planning to invoke Section 20 of the Rules of Standing Committees of the Commission on Appointments on Soliman's nomination.
Section 20 reads: "Any member may move for the suspension of action by the Commission on any nomination or appointment favorably recommended by a standing committee and the Chairman shall suspend the consideration of said nomination or appointment."
But Soliman is taking a level-headed approach to the situation.
She explained that the issues that were being questioned by Senator Santiago has long been answered by her in previous committee hearings.
"Ako po ay ginagalang ko ang karapatan ng mga lehislatura, ng mga Congressmen, ng mga Senador, sa paggawa ng mandate, on check and balance. Kung ano man ang tingin, ng commission, ako ay susunod at makikinig sa kanilang posisyon at payo," she said.
Soliman said she has long been trying to seek an appointment with Senator Santiago to discuss the issues, but unfortunately, scheduling conflicts made it impossible for them to meet.