DAR officer-in-charge named after Mariano rejection

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2017 02:08 PM

Rafael Mariano gestures as he faces the Commission on Appointments panel during his confirmation hearing at the Senate. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Malacañang on Monday said an officer-in-charge has been tapped to lead the Department of Agrarian Reform following the rejection of the ad interim appointment of former Secretary Rafael Mariano.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Rosalina Bistoyong, DAR Undersecretary for Support Services, will temporarily lead the department while the administration looks for Mariano’s replacement.

“OIC Bistoyong’s designation will ensure the continuous delivery of public service,” Abella said in a news conference in Malacañang.

The Commission on Appointments last week rejected the appointment of the left-leaning Mariano, an activist and peasant group leader.

Mariano was the second left-leaning secretary ousted from Duterte's Cabinet after former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo also failed to get the CA's nod last month.

Aside from Mariano and Taguiwalo, the CA also voted against the confirmations of President Rodrigo Duterte's appointees, Perfecto Yasay Jr. for foreign affairs, and Gina Lopez for the environment portfolio.

Mariano and Taguiwalo’s rejections have prompted the left-leaning Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives to reassess its alliance with the Duterte administration.