Can the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo be confirmed posthumously by the Commission on Appointments?
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, chairman of the commission, said that needs further study. "Not that I don’t want him to be confirmed, in fact we had him scheduled for confirmation, but as far as my recollection goes, it has never been done before," he said.
However, whether Robredo is confirmed posthumously or not will have no bearing.
Instead, PH should not forget that Robredo did the job of Local Government secretary and that all orders he signed were valid.
"He will be a Secretary of Interior and Local Government in the political history of this country. Confirmation or no confirmation," Enrile said.
Suggestions to give a post-humous confirmation came after Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte reportedly recommended that the CA confirm Robredo's appointment as scheduled on August 29.
Robredo, whose body was found Tuesday after his plane crashed off Masbate on Saturday, had twice failed to hurdle the CA, a Constitutional body tasked with confirming the appointments of Cabinet members, diplomats, and ranking military officers.
According to reports, Robredo's confirmation was blocked because of pending graft cases from his time as mayor of Naga City. Rep. Villafuerte, a former political rival of Robredo's, reportedly wanted the secretary to explain the graft cases before the CA.
But Villafuerte denied this, saying Robredo was already scheduled for confirmation.
Enrile meanwhile said Robredo's confirmation was delayed because of questions from CA members. "But then, that problem was settled earlier and his confirmation was scheduled for this month," he said. He added "if somebody wants to ask questions, we cannot question what those questions are."
Meanwhile, Senator Francis Pangilinan, a party mate of the late secretary, has filed a resolution to honor Robredo "for his outstanding contributions to governmental reforms in the country."
The resolution cites Robredo for his public service as Naga City mayor, president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, chairman of the Regional Development Council in Bicol, and as Local Government Secretary. It also lists Robredo's awards, including the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the 1998 Konrad Adenauer Medal of Excellence for being the countr's most outstanding mayor, and the Dangal ng Bayan award from the Civil Service Commission.
"The country lost a rare and exemplary public servant in the person of Secretary Robredo," Pangilinan's resolution read.
"The Liberal Party is also in mourning for losing a hard-working party comrade," Senator Ralph Recto also said.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday announced a $1.8-billion military upgrade to help defend his country's maritime territory against "bullies", amid an ever-worsening dispute with China.