Appointment of Taguiwalo as DSWD Secretary rejected

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

"I stand before this august chamber as chairman of the committee on labor, employment and social welfare to move for the Commission on Appointments to reject the ad interim of Judy Marigomen Taguiwalo as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development", said CA committee on labor, employment, and social welfare chairman Representative Joel Almario. "She made and impact in the lives of many Filipinos in her tenure as DSWD secretary", Presidential spokesperson Ernest Abella said in a statement. "If she's an ideologue, then the ideology she subscribes to is the same one we believe in and that ideology is to serve the people". That's only my conjecture. "What I did was I stood by the decision of the Supreme Court that there should be no pork barrel", Taguiwalo said.

Taguiwalo issued a memorandum in August 2016, reminding DSWD personnel that recommendation letters from lawmakers and politicians have no bearing in granting aid.

"I have relayed my gratitude to the President for the opportunity he had given me. But for them to tell me that they have funds [for their constituents] in the budget, I told them they don't have it", she told reporters. It's the inflationary effects of the excise tax that will directly hit them.

The senator, a former national police chief, earlier expressed support for Taguiwalo's confirmation even after he grilled her on her leftist background.

She refused to sing, but the known activist and University of the Philippines professor said: "To be rejected like Gina Lopez is a badge of honor".

It was not immediately clear why she was rejected, but speculation had been rife that Taguiwalo's future was in doubt after the near-collapse of Duterte's peace process with Communist rebels, which was one of his top objectives when he took office.

Seven senators voted in favor of Taguiwalo: Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Benigno "Bam" Aquino 4th, Loren Legarda, Franklin Drilon, Francis Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

On record, 13 CA members voted to reject Taguiwalo's appointment as social welfare secretary.

It was only when she spoke to them that the secretary turned emotional.

"Kung ang batayan ng pag-confirm sa akin ay pagserbisyo sa tao, na may malasakit, na walang korupsyon, na patas, pasado ako dapat pero di ako pumasa eh". She said she had also done her best to live by the values of the agency, which she had crafted during her term: swift and caring service that was untainted by corruption, and provided fairly to all communities.

Prior to being rejected, Taguiwalo said she sees no reason for the CA to reject her confirmation, citing her "integrity" and "track record" as her strongest points.

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