MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday thanked Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for withdrawing her objection to the appointment of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
"Kami po ay nagpapasalamat kay Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago na kanyang inuurong ang kanyang objection sa confirmation po ni Secrertary Mar Roxas," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
"The Office of the DILG is a very important position. It deals with local governments and peace and security. We are very happy that Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has placed national interest above her concerns on the snubbing of Secretary Mar Roxas. And, for that, we thank Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago for her magnanimous gesture."
Santiago initially blocked the confirmation of Roxas before the Commission on Appointments but reconsidered after a short appeal by Senator Vicente Sotto III.
Santiago said she decided to use her veto power after Malacañang allegedly prevented Cabinet members to attend the probe on resigned DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno.
But the senator changed her mind after an appeal by Sotto.
"Mr. President, my high intelligence quotient dictates that I should reconsider and therefore I withdraw my motion," she said.
Her withdrawal paved the way for the confirmation of Roxas as well as newly appointed Transportation and Communications Secretary Jun Abaya.