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CA rejects Taguiwalo as DSWD secretary

Members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday voted to reject the appointment of Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo.

The vote came after a closed-door executive session of the bicameral body.

Taguiwalo is the third Cabinet official appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to be rejected by the CA. The other two are Perfecto Yasay Jr. as Foreign Affairs Secretary and Gina Lopez as Environment Secretary.

In an interview earlier in the day, Taguiwalo said she believes she should be confirmed as DSWD secretary if the decision is based on her "competence and integrity." 

Taguiwalo sat at the session hall gallery as she listened as to how the CA reached their decision.

Previously, Yasay and Lopez opted to no longer attend the CA plenary after they were told that they will be rejected by the body.

Taguiwalo was technically bypassed by the CA twice before it held another hearing on her appointment.

Davao Oriental Rep. Joel Mayo Almario, chairman of the CA committee on labor, employment and social welfare, said a majority vote was reached “against” the confirmation of Taguiwalo.

“The committee had conducted a votation and has reached the requirement of a majority vote against the confirmation. I stand before this august chamber as your chairman of the committee on labor, employment and social welfare to move for the Commission on Appointments to reject the ad interim appointment [of Taguiwalo],” Almario said.

The required number of majority vote is 13.

Senators Ralph Recto, Miguel Zubiri, and Sonny Angara manifested on the floor that they voted in favor of Taguiwalo's confirmation.

Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, for his part, said all Liberal Party (LP) senators who are part of the CA, also voted for Taguiwalo. The other two are Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV.

Accepts decision

In a media briefing, Taguiwalo said she accepts the decision of the CA, but said that her rejection does not reflect the sentiments of the people.

“Hindi naman ako nagugulat dahil alam ko, at the end of the day, may desisyon na gagawin. I have served the people well. I gave my all and I am proud to say that my integrity remains intact and I have never once lost sight of the people I have sworn to serve,” she said.

Taguiwalo added she will continue to serve the people in another capacity.

"Hindi dito nagtatapos ang ating laban. Ako naman, serve the people, simula't simula pa, sa iba't ibang arena...Ang sabi ko lang naman mamimi-miss ko sa DSWD, may driver ka at sasakyan. Outside of that, wala na. Sanay naman ako mag-MRT at hindi ko isasangla ang kaluluwa ko para sa ganitong entitlement," she said.

"Walang forever sa position, pero may forever sa paglilingkod ng bayan, sa integridad, sa commitment at pagmamahal ng bayan," Taguiwalo added. —ALG/KVD/KG, GMA News

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