MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, May 17, postponed its scheduled hearing on the appointment of Judy Taguiwalo as Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary.
Taguiwalo was supposed to face CA members for the second time at 11 am on Wednesday, but the hearing was rescheduled for next week. The CA approved one appointment in 3 minutes – that of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the new Foreign Secretary.
The delay is a form of torture, Taguiwalo said as she faced supporters who trooped to the Senate to show their support.
One of at least 3 leftists in the Duterte Cabinet, Taguiwalo is a former University of the Philippines professor and a longtime activist who was imprisoned in the Martial Law years.
Her first confirmation hearing last May 3 sparked online rage as Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III insulted her status as a single mother. (READ: Sotto insults single mother DSWD chief Taguiwalo: ‘Na-ano lang’)
The CA members deferred her confirmation that day, questioning her ties to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). She said then that while the CPP endorsed her appointment to President Rodrigo Duterte, she is not a member of the party.
Davao Oriental 2nd District Representative Joel Almario, a CA member, said Wednesday’s hearing was postponed due to lack of time.
Taguiwalo expressed disappointment. “Talagang disappointed pero may dahilan sila so tingnan natin ano’ng susunod. Basta patuloy iyong paglilingkod natin, may malasakit at walang katiwalian,” she told Rappler. (I am really disappointed, but they have their reasons so I’ll just wait and see. Our service will continue nonetheless, an empathic kind of service free from corruption.)
“Confirmed or hindi sa ngayon, habang may tiwala sa akin si President Duterte, patuloy ang pagserbisyo ko,” she added. (Confirmed or not, as long as President Duterte trusts me, I will continue to serve.)
This is the second time that Taguiwalo’s hearing was canceled. Her first CA hearing was scheduled on February 15 but it was postponed until she was bypassed when Congress went on session break in March.
She was reappointed in April; there’s no limit to when a President can reappoint a bypassed official.