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Briones confirmed; Lopez bypassed

Before going on a six-week recess starting today, the bicameral Commission on Appointments confirmed yesterday the appointments of Leonor Briones as Department of Education Secretary and 44 generals and senior officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

But the CA bypassed the appointments of four members of the Duterte Cabinet.

They are Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Regina Paz La’o Lopez, Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano.

San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, CA vice chairman, and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said Lopez was effectively bypassed just after the CA adjourned its plenary session yesterday afternoon.

Presided over by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, concurrent CA chairman, the confirmation of Briones was endorsed by Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, chairman of the CA education committee, after CA members grilled her during her first appearance before the CA yesterday.

Aquino said Briones is highly qualified for the DepEd job and is looked upon as the “champion in education.’’

“Briones can lead the change in quality education,’’ he added. (Mario B. Casayuran)