CA confirms Gringo Honasan as DICT chief
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday, September 11, confirmed the ad interim appointment of former senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II as secretary of the Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT).
There was no opposition to the confirmation of Honasan who, as expected, breezed though the confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Prior to his confirmation at the CA plenary session, members of the powerful body took turns highlighting the traits and track record of Honasan that will help him lead the DICT.
San Juan City Representative Ronaldo Zamora, CA vice chair, believed that Honasan can strengthen the country’s information communications technology, as the Philippines moves towards the 4th industrial revolution where anything can be done through online platforms.
“I have confidence in the ability of Gregorio B. Honasan II...senator and soldier, and authentic hero of our nation to strengthen our nation’s ICT, and lay those bulding blocks,” Zamora said.
Senator Grace Poe said that Honasan, a former military man, knows the importance of the department’s role to safeguard national interest and security.
“If Secretary Honasan can play a key role in a People Power Revolution and lead a group of progressive soldiers dreaming of systemic improvements back then, it is but certain that such kind of leadership, passion, and determination will surely benefit a relatively young department which is the DICT,” Poe sad.
In an interview with reporters, Honasan said that he would focus on delivering on President Rodrigo Duterte's marching orders to him.
“I was not placed [in DICT] to be the digital lineman. The technical expertise is there at napakaliwanag naman ng marching orders ni Presidente (the marching orders of the President is very clear) – connectivity,” Honasan added.
At the time of his appointmen, Honasan's credentials were questioned.
Republic Act No. 10844, the law that created the DICT, states that the department's secretary must have "at least 7 years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology, information technology service management, information security management, cybersecurity, data privacy, e-Commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector."
This is on top of a bigger constitutional issue: Article 6, Section 13 of the 1987 Constitution prohibits a senator or congressman from being appointed "to any office which may have been created...during the term for which he was elected."
The DICT law was signed on May 23, 2016, when Honasan was a senator of the 16th Congress.
The 4-term senator graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1971. With his PMA classmates, he formed the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) that recruited soldiers to rebel against the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (READ: 10 things to know about Gringo Honasan) – Rappler.com