MANILA - After lawmakers rejected her appointment to the Cabinet, outgoing Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said Thursday that she was "disappointed, but not heartbroken" because she will leave her post with the public's esteem.
The public, she said, "confirmed" her ad interim appointment as social welfare secretary even after the Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected her.
"Disappointed ako, pero I'm not heartbroken or anything because at the end of the day, sabi ko nga, I think pumasa ako sa mamamayan," Taguiwalo told DZMM.
"I could read that sa Facebook, sa mga Twitter na talagang pasado, kumpirmado po ako kung ang mamamayan lang ang tatanungin."
(I am disappointed, but not heartbroken or anything, because at the end of the day, I think the public approved of me. I could read that on Facebook and Twitter -- I would have been confirmed and approved of if it were up to the public.)
Taguiwalo on Wednesday failed to get the 13 votes needed to get approval of her nomination as social welfare chief by the 24-member CA. Only 8 senators voted for her confirmation.
Taguiwalo said the CA may have rejected her due to her opposition to pork barrel funds for congressmen in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and to the executive's tax reform package.
"Kung sa usapin talaga ng track record, service, wala namang mahahanap sa akin -- walang corruption. Kung iyun ang basic requirement for a public servant, especially the secretary of a big department, I think I had 1 year to show the people ano ang kaya ko," she said.
"Ako na lang, nagpi-presume ako na it's about my inability to give them (CA) what they wanted."
(If this was an issue of track record, service they will not find any taint of corruption on me. If that is the basic requirement for a public servant, especially the secretary of a big department, I think I had 1 year to show the people what I can do. I presume I was rejected because of my inability to give CA what they wanted.)
She also insisted that she served the country well regardless of her ties to Left-leaning groups.
"Kaliwa man o hindi, ang bottom line is competence, integrity at pagmamahal sa bayan. On that basis alone, I am proud to be Kaliwa," she said.
"I think I have shown that in my short stint in the government: to be Left is to serve the people with competence, with integrity and with patriotism."
Taguiwalo, a former activist, was jailed during the martial law era of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. She was one of 3 Cabinet members nominated by the communist rebels, whose peace talks with the government were suspended recently.
She said she will spend some time with her family before looking for a new avenue for public service.
"Walang forever sa gobyerno pero may forever sa paglilingkod sa ating bayan," she said. (There is no 'forever' in the government, but there is 'forever' in serving our country.)