Yasay rejection shows CA not Duterte ‘rubber stamp’

Paterno Esmaquel II
Yasay rejection shows CA not Duterte ‘rubber stamp’
Senator Panfilo Lacson says Perfecto Yasay Jr's closeness to President Rodrigo Duterte 'did not deter the commission from acting independently'

MANILA, Philippines – The rejection of lawyer Perfecto Yasay Jr as Philippine foreign secretary showed that the Commission on Appointments (CA) is not a “rubber stamp” of the Duterte administration, said Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday, March 8.

“It only shows that the Commission on Appointments will not be a rubber stamp of the executive department,” Lacson told reporters shortly after the CA rejected Yasay’s appointment.

“We all know how close Attorney Yasay is to the President, and it did not deter the commission from acting independently,” Lacson said. 

The CA on Wednesday unanimously rejected Yasay’s appointment as Philippine foreign secretary after he denied once being a US citizen. (READ: TIMELINE: When Foreign Secretary Yasay was a foreigner

Yasay can no longer be reappointed by President Rodrigo Duterte, his dormitory roommate when they were law students. Malacañang said Duterte will appoint an acting foreign secretary on Thursday, March 9.

Despite Yasay’s rejection for lying under oath, however, Lacson said, “I don’t think the CA will resort to filing a perjury case against him.” (READ: Yasay lied under oath, now admits owning U.S. passport

But Lacson said “any taxpayer can file a perjury case” against Yasay.

CA rejection of a presidential appointee is rare in Philippine history. One of the last times it happened was in 2009, when the CA rejected the appointment of former journalist Ricardo Saludo as Civil Service Commission chair. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.