Malacañang says CA nod not needed for Diokno appointment as BSP governor

MANILA, Philippines – Does the appointment of former budget chief Benjamin Diokno as new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (CA)?

Malacañang insisted on Wednesday, March 6, that there is no need.

"It is the position of the Palace that the said appointment need not be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments," said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo in a statement.

Yet the New Central Bank Act (Republic Act No 7653) states that since the BSP governor heads a department, the appointment requires CA confirmation.

Section 6 of Article II of the law states reads: "The Governor of the Bangko Sentral shall be head of a department and his appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments."

This section was not amended by the Republic Act No 11211, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 14.

Panelo's statement made no specific mention of the New Central Bank Act's provisions. Instead, he pointed to a Supreme Court ruling that states that Congress cannot pass a law that adds to the types of government officials appointed by the President that require CA confirmation.

The SC decision on Calderon vs Carale "resolved" the issue on "whether or not Congress, may by law, require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of appointments extended by the President to government officers additional to those expressly mentioned in the first sentence of Sec. 16 Article VII of the Constitution," said Panelo.

"The Supreme Court ruled in the negative explaining that Congress cannot amend the provisions of the Constitution by mere legislation," he added.

The Constitution states that CA confirmation is only required for the following presidential appointments: heads of executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consults, officers of the armed forces, and other officers whose appointments are vested in the President under the Constitution.

The Duterte spokesman also pointed to another case, that of Tarrosa vs Singson, which involved the appointment of Gabriel Singson as BSP governor. While the peititon was dismissed, in the end, Singson's appointment did not undergo CA confirmation. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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