CA confirms Manny Piñol, Ramon Lopez

Camille Elemia
Members of the Commission on Appointments laud both Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, saying they are highly qualified for their posts

CONFIRMED: Commission on Appointment (CA) Chair and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III gives a closed-fist sign with Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol (left) and Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez (right) after the ad-interim appointments of the two secretaries were confirmed in plenary, Wednesday, February 1, 2017. PRIB Photo by Cesar Tomambo

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, February 1, confirmed the ad interim appointments of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

Piñol swiftly passed the CA committee on agriculture before getting the final confirmation of the plenary. This is a stark contrast to his experience the first time he faced the panel on December 13, 2016, where he failed to get the CA’s nod for his “unclear policies.

Representative Abaraham Tolentino, chair of the CA committee, moved the confirmation of the secretary.

“It is beyond contention Emmanuel Piñol exceeds qualifications required of a department secretary,” Tolentino said.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon also praised Piñol for his extensive experience in agriculture.

“In my mind there is no other person that can lead the agency at this time but Manny Piñol. He has had his hands dirtied as governor and has the hands-on experience in alleviating poverty in the countryside by developing the agriculture sector,” Drilon said.

Lopez also got the nod of the CA, with no one opposing his confirmation.

Valenzuela Representative Weslie Gatchalian, chair of the CA committee on trade and industry, recommended Lopez’s confirmation and lauded him for his work on small and medium enterprises. Lopez is a former executive director of Go Negosyo.

“With the extensive experience he has in different government offices, the private sector, trade and insutry, with active and passionate involvement, he has earned… the respect of businesses,” Gatchalian said.

A-Teacher party list Representative Julieta Cortuna seconded the motion

“He posseses qualifications needed for the job,” she said.

On the other hand, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II failed to get the CA’s confirmation due to the signed opposition of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who is currently in the United States for an official visit. The next hearing is set on Wednesday, February 15. –

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email