Let Duterte exercise appointing power: Lacson

MANILA Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte has the executive prerogative to choose appointees that "he feels can effectively support" the policies and programs of the administration.

Lacson made the statement in reaction to President Duterte's appointment of several retired military officials to key government posts, the latest of whom are retired Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat and retired police general Reynaldo Velasco as members of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System's (MWSS) board of trustees.

"Let the appointing authority exercise his prerogative under the Constitution and existing laws to appoint whoever he feels can effectively support his policies and programs," Lacson said.

"After all, if his appointees would fall short and fail to deliver, the ultimate responsibility lies in the President who will be accountable to the people," he added.

The senator, however, assured that the check and balance with regard to the President's appointing power are available, as the appointment of Cabinet members is still subject to confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

"Without sounding biased since I also came from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the police, what if those appointees would also question the wisdom of appointing too many lawyers in government? What is important is the competence and integrity of those appointees and not their professional background," Lacson said.

Salamat and Velasco's appointment papers were signed over the weekend, as seen from the list of presidential appointees released by MalacaAang on Wednesday.

Also belonging to Duterte's list of top military appointees include Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gringo Honasan, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo AAo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, among others. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency