MANILA - Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Commission on Appointments (CA) has yet to adopt the proposed rule limiting the number of times the commission can bypass a presidential appointee.
Speaking on ANC's Talkback, Lacson said the proposed three-bypass rule is not yet applicable to any nominee whose confirmation is still pending before the CA.
"We have not adopted the rules. The Committee on Rules convened and we proposed some amendments. The amendments to the rules of the Committee on Appointments have been adopted on the committee level but it has yet to be approved by the plenary," he said.
"Right now, the amended rules as proposed, we have not adopted it yet," Lacson added.
The senator also said that the rule, even after it has been adopted by the CA, cannot be applied to any of the Cabinet appointees who have not yet been confirmed.
"The amended rules will not retroact, meaning, the three-bypass rule shall not apply to any Cabinet member that has yet to be confirmed," Lacson said.
"Effectively, the three-bypass rule has not started yet. So, all the members of the Cabinet that have to be confirmed or go through the confirmation of the Commission on Appointments won't be affected by the three-bypass rule yet," he added.
Among those who were bypassed Tuesday is Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, who has riled the mining industry by ordering the shutdown of 23 mines and suspension of 5 others. She also wants to cancel 75 mining contracts.
"Secretary Lopez's ad interim appointment is considered bypassed," Senator Manny Pacquiao told reporters. "In May, we will (re)open the hearing. We still have a lot of questions for her."
Congress will go on recess on March 18 and will resume sessions on May 2.