Andaya maintains Diokno still needs CA confirmation

MANILA -- Contrary to the stand of the Palace, Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. on Thursday maintained that newly-appointed Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Benjamin Diokno still needed to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA).

The last time I checked, nakalagay may confirmation. Pati members ng Monetary Board ganun din (It was provided that confirmation is needed including all members of the Monetary Board), Andaya said.

The chair of the House Committee on Appropriations was referring to the provisions of Republic Act 7653, or the New Central Bank Act that was enacted in 1993.

Section 6 of Article II of the said measure provides that the powers and functions of the Bangko Sentral shall be exercised by the Bangko Sentral Monetary Board, hereafter referred to as the Monetary Board, composed of seven members appointed by the President of the Philippines for a term of six years.

The seven members include the Governor of the Bangko Sentral, who shall be the Chairman of the Monetary Board.

The Governor of the Bangko Sentral shall be head of a department and his appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments, the measure said.

Andaya's position was shared by House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez who said Diokno's appointment must go through the confirmation process.

Suarez said the Minority would ask Diokno to answer questions previously raised against him in previous House hearings pertaining to alleged irregularities in the 2019 budget.

We will be asking questions. That's also good for him. It will enlighten and maybe answer some issues that haven't been answered during the question hour, he said in a press briefing Wednesday.

But he was quick to clarify that they would not be blocking Diokno's confirmation.

Hindi namin haharangin (We will not block), it's simply asking questions, Suarez said.

There will be a CA, (but) I think he'll be confirmed, he's the President's choice. But questions will be asked, Suarez added.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the appointment of Diokno as BSP governor does not the confirmation of the CA.

He cited the Supreme Court ruling on the Calderon vs. Carale case, which rejected the position that Congress may require CA confirmation of presidential appointments other than those expressly mentioned in Article VII, Section 16 of the Constitution.

The Chief Presidential Legal Counsel also cited the eventual dismissal of the petition against then BSP governor Gabriel Singson.

While the petition in Tarrosa vs. Singson was dismissed due to its nature and the lack of legal standing of the petitioner, the Supreme Court in the said case had the occasion to cite the above-mentioned case of Calderon vs. Carale, Panelo said.

Meanwhile, Andaya admitted that the ongoing House probe on Diokno may have reached a premature end due to lack of time.

Andaya, the former chairman of the House Committee on Rules that initiated the probe, said he hopes to make a committee report on the inquiry if time permits, adding that the incoming 18th Congress can still initiate a similar inquiry.

Source: Philippines News Agency