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CA rejects Mariano’s appointment

By: Vanne Terrazola

The Commission on Appointments (CA) yesterday rejected Rafael Mariano’s appointment as secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) following an executive session at the Senate.

Mariano is the fourth Duterte appointee to be rejected by the powerful body, following Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Gina Lopez of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Perfecto Yasay Jr. of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)

CA committee on agrarian reform chairman Senator Vicente Sotto III announced the decision in the plenary session of the bicameral appointments body. He said there were “a minimum of 13” members of the CA who voted “no” to Mariano’s appointment.

Davao Oriental Representative Joel Mayo Almario, a member of the CA, said he “sympathizes with the oppositors.” He said he would have wanted Mariano to stop the practice of some farmer-beneficiaries in illegally selling their lands which, he said, is “short-sighted and detrimental.”

“I hope that the next DAR secretary would do just that,” he added.

In a press briefing, Mariano said the CA’s decision indicated that “the interest of big landlords, oligarchs, private corporations” prevailed over the interest of farmers and the Filipinos.

“Kahit pa gampanan natin nang buong giliw at walang pag-iimbot, nang patas at walang bahid, ang atas sa akin bilang kalihim ng DAR. Hindi po basta na lamang ma-reresolba ang mga tunggalian sa usapin sa lupa,” he said.