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Why Leila should have been confirmed right away

/ 12:02 AM June 09, 2014

I was so delighted to hear in the last confirmation hearing that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima did not approach the members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) for her confirmation. I would do the same if I were in her place. Thus, I find it so uncalled-for for Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to even suggest to De Lima that she should have approached the CA members for her early confirmation because “it is a tradition” for nominees subject to CA confirmation to “approach” its members.

De Lima clearly showed her deep sense of delicadeza by answering Estrada that she did not find it proper to approach the CA members. This alone should move the CA members to immediately confirm her nomination as justice secretary. It would have been an opportune occasion for the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately stop this “tradition” in order to preserve the commission’s independence and prevent any compromise that would affect the performance of those confirmed into office.

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Nominees, once they are confirmed, should always bear in mind that they do not owe anything to the CA members. They should always have that feeling and belief that they were confirmed on the basis of their own qualifications and are not indebted to any of the CA members. If a Cabinet member really wants to be a public servant, then he or she does not have to approach these CA members so as not to compromise his or her position or, as stated, for reasons of  delicadeza.

I congratulate Secretary De Lima for giving a true example of a public servant with a deep sense of delicadeza worthy of being emulated by others. For this alone, all those personal and baseless objections to her nomination should not in any way be allowed to block or reject her appointment.

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—ROMULO B. MACALINTAL,

election lawyer,

Philamlife Village, Las Piñas City

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