Palace stands by Heidi Mendoza, unconfirmed Cabinet members
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Wednesday, March 5, stood by Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi Mendoza and other Cabinet officials who have yet to secure the nod of the Commission on Appointments (CA).
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a news briefing that the officials have been doing their jobs well and will be re-appointed by President Benigno Aquino III if again bypassed by the CA.
"With respect to Commissioner Heidi Mendoza…in her role as commissioner of COA also, she has done a good job together with Chairman Grace Tan," Lacierda said.
He added that the Philippines won the Bright Spots award at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in London last year for a joint COA-civil society project that audits government performance.
On March 4, Mendoza appealed to Congress to confirm her appointment, and traced the three-year delay to her audit report on the transactions of Makati during the term of Mayor Elenita Binay, wife of Vice President Jejomar Binay. (READ: Heidi Mendoza to CA: My only fault is filing case vs Binay)
Lacierda declined to comment on the alleged reason for the delay in the confirmation of Mendoza's appointment.
"Commissioner Heidi Mendoza has already spoken on why she could not be confirmed. And we will leave it with the comment made by Commissioner Heidi Mendoza as to the reasons why she could not be confirmed as Commissioner of COA," he said.
As for the Cabinet officials who face the same challenge – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, and Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla – Lacierda said Malacañang "will continue to submit their names to Congress."
"We believe that these Cabinet members have been fulfilling their jobs, and they will continue to explain to the Commission on Appointments, if there’s a necessity to do so," he said.
De Lima had said she received personal assurance from Senator Jinggoy Estrada, among those facing plunder raps in connection with the pork barrel scam, that he would not block her confirmation. – Rappler.com