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Roxas, Abaya can't assume office without CA nod

September 3, 2012 11:48am

Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas and Cavite Rep. Jun Abaya cannot formally assume their positions as the new secretaries of the Interior and Local Government and Transportation and Communication Departments, respectively, until their appointments are confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, at least two senators said Monday.
"Hindi [pa sila pwedeng mag-assume]... illegal yan pag-nag-act sila," said Senator Edgardo Angara, a member of the bicameral body.
Last Friday, President Benigno Aquino III announced the appointment of Roxas as DILG chief and Abaya as the DOTC head.
Roxas will take over the DILG vacancy caused by the death of Jesse Robredo, who died following a plane crash in Masbate on August 18. On the other hand, Abaya will be taking over Roxas' post at the DOTC. 
Aquino, however, said he cannot issue an ad interim appointment for the two officials because Congress is still in session.
According to the CA website, there are two kinds of presidential appointments: those made during the session of Congress or the so-called regular appointments or nominations and those made during the recess of Congress known as ad interim appointments.
In a text message to GMA News Online, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that since ad interim appointments are made at a time when Congress is on a break and the CA is not able to convene, the appointee gets to "sit and perform the functions and powers of the position until rejected by the CA or until the next adjournment of Congress."
On the other hand, Sotto said officials with regular appointments can only sit and perform their functions and powers once the CA confirms their appointment. 

Sotto chairs the CA committee on local government, where Roxas' appointment will be tackled.
"[So] Mar is still the DOTC [secretary]...he cannot act as DILG [secretary]," said Angara.
"The only time he can assume [office is] when we have our break on September 22 or pag na-confirm [na siya]," he added.
Angara likewise explained that Abaya, as chair of the House committee on appropriations, still has work in Congress regarding the pending passage of the proposed 2013 budget.
"Si Abaya sabi niya tatapusin Mar pwede na mag-move [so] his papers ought ot be sent to us and I think in one sitting [baka ma-approve na yun]," he said.
Other senators have earlier assured Roxas and Abaya of a speedy confirmation process. —RSJ, GMA News
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