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CA rejects Judy

By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA

Members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) yesterday voted to reject the ad interim appointment of Judy Taguiwalo as Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) secretary.

Taguiwalo is the third member of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet rejected by the appointments body. The same body rejected the confirmation of Regina “Gina” Lopez’s appointment as Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary and Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s appointment as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary.

The members of the CA arrived at their decision after the bicameral body held an executive session. The powerful appointments body twice bypassed her nomination.

Taguiwalo was nominated by the National Democratic Front (NDF) to the Duterte Cabinet, having been a long-time activist and professor at the University of the Philippines (UP).

She is expected to vacate her post immediately after being rejected by the CA. Prior to being rejected, Taguiwalo said she sees no reason for the CA to reject her confirmation, citing her “integrity” and “trackw record” as her strongest points.

Despite the odds, Taguiwalo opted to sit at the Senate session hall gallery to hear how the CA reached their decision. In contrast, to Lopez and Yasay who no longer attended the CA plenary after they were told they are going to be rejected by the body.

“I have relayed my gratitude to the President for the opportunity he had given me. I have acknowledged that Presidente Duterte is so far been the only President who gave space to members of the Left. I am just sad that it is just a short engagement. I have wanted to see through the reform that he wanted happening in our country through the remaining years of his administration,” Taguiwalo said.

Meantime, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement recognized Taguiwalo’s effort during her run as the DSWD chief.

“We are saddened by the Commission on Appointments’ rejection of Secretary JudyTaguiwalo,” Abella said.

“Secretary Taguiwalo had served the Duterte administration with passion, profession and integrity. She made an impact in the lives of many Filipinos in her tenure as DSWD Secretary,” he added.

According to Abella, President Duterte is now “looking and studying for a possible replacement.”

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar also lamented the CA’s rejection of Taguiwalo.

Andanar, in an interview with reporters in Malacañang, recalled his experience in the cabinet with the rejected DSWD chief.

“Si Secretary Judy ay isang napaka-hardworking na secretary. Marami tayong natutunan sa kanya especially ‘yung dedication sa kanyang trabaho at dedication sa bayan (SecretaryTaguiwalo is a very hardworking secretary. We learned a lot from her especially her dedication to her work and to the country),” Andanar said.

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