MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's appointees from the Left have been bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA).
The CA did not confirm or reject the appointments of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano because of "scheduling problems," Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel said.
"Different reasons for the delay, delay in the schedule, we lost one or two sessions because we reorganized the senate, the nominees submitted records on different dates," Pimentel added.
The on and off peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) was not the reason for the bypass, Pimentel said.
The Senate President said lack of time was also why Environment Secretary Gina Lopez and Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial were bypassed by the CA.
The commission, however, managed to approve the appointment of Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Leftist group Bayan believes Taguiwalo was bypassed due to her stand against using DSWD funds for patronage politics.
"Lawmakers are insisting that they have a say in the implementation of certain programs and projects vis-a-vis their districts and constituents," Bayan said in a statement.
Mariano's appointment, on the other hand, was not acted upon due to his "pro-farmer stance" that would affect the interests of the "landlord-dominated Congress," the group alleged.
The CA is set to resume confirmation hearing as soon as Congressional sessions reopen in May.