Sen. Koko: CA confirmation not needed for Roque appointment

  • CA chairman weighed in on lawmaker’s appointment as Presidential Spokesperson
  • He said Roque’s post purely discretionary, does not need confirmation from the CA
  • Lawmaker happy with good news, has yet to resign from House pending appointment papers

MANILA, Philippines – Incoming Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque won’t have to face a grilling from the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) after its chairman said his appointment doesn’t need their blessing.

According to Senate President and CA chairman Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Roque’s post is purely discretionary on the part of President Rodrigo Duterte and is not one of those which needs the CA’s consent.

“The presidential spokesman, like the presidential legal counsel and executive secretary, should be 100 percent left to discretion of the President,” GMA News quoted him as saying. “The presidential spokesman, in my opinion, need not be confirmed anymore by the CA. The presidential spokesman does not run a department like the other secretaries.”

The CA has so far rejected four Duterte appointees—Perfecto Yasay Jr. (Department of Foreign Affairs), Gina Lopez (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), Rafael Mariano (Department of Agrarian Reform), and Paulyn Ubial (Department of Health).

For his part, Roque said he is happy over the non-need to face the CA. At the same time, however, he admitted he has yet to resign from the House of Representatives because he has not received his appointment papers.

“Right now as a spokesperson, I don’t sign anything. I could be here as a personal spokesperson for the President and there’s no legal impediment but I have no appointment papers,” he said. “Because I have no appointment papers, there is no reason for me to resign from Congress as of yet. But when the papers are issued, I may have to resign already.”