BY PRINCE GOLEZ
MANILA – Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) at the committee level.
Yesterday, the Labor Committee recommended Soliman as secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, for plenary approval.
Soliman had been bypassed 15 times by the CA.
But Iloilo City’s Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said she will invoke Section 20 of the Rules of CA to suspend the Secretary’s nomination.
Santiago also said that when such section is invoked, it is “non-debatable.”
“I was a judge in the Estrada impeachment case, and I voted against opening the second envelope. Ms. Soliman and her ilk immediately seized this incident as proof that I was pro-Estrada, and therefore corrupt,” the senator explained.
She accused Soliman of being a turncoat.
“Ms. Soliman was a fervent devotee of President (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo. All of a sudden, on her way to Emmaus, she heard a voice telling her that President Arroyo is allegedly corrupt,” Santiago said.
Section 20 allows any member of the powerful CA to “move for the suspension of action… or any nomination or appointment favorably recommended by a standing committee…”
The suspension, however, should be taken up “in the next succeeding session of the Commission,” it also read.
For her part, Soliman said she had already addressed the issues raised by Santiago in the past.
“Ginagalang ko ang mga karapatan ng lehislatura sa paggawa na kanilang constitutional mandate,” Soliman said, adding she is ready to face the plenary to respond to all queries.
The Social Welfare secretary wished that Santiago recover from her illness.
“Sana gumaling na siya. Good health ang message ko sa kanya,” Soliman said.
On the other hand, Cong. Conrado Estrella, chair of the Labor committee, said they will present Soliman in the plenary “next week.”
Santiago cannot invoke Section 20 on a sine die session, said Estrella./PN