Lacson Stands Pat to Correct Anomaly in Commission on Appointments

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson today stood ground on his position to exercise his one-person veto powers at the Commission on Appointments if the body insists on the confirmation of an Air Force colonel deemed ineligible for promotion to the next higher rank. 

“I am doing this in order to set right the wrong that the Commission on Appointments is trying to perpetuate,” Senator Lacson said.

Lacson said his objection to the inclusion of Col. Arthur Abadilla in the CA agenda for confirmation roots from the CA’s lack of jurisdiction over his confirmation.

He said CA records show that Abadilla was not issued either an ad interim appointment or nomination from the time his original nomination was not acted upon by the body when it adjourned last December.

The CA earlier bypassed Abadilla along with other AFP officials last March 12. Malacanang did not include Abadilla’s name in the new list of ad interim appointments submitted to the CA.

Lacson said no less than Malacanang saw Abadilla’s nomination or appointment as a violation of Section 4 (2) of Republic Act 8186 (An Act Prescribing Grade Distribution in the Active Force of the AFP and Limiting the Tenure of Officers in the Grade of Colonel/Captain and the General Flag Officers in the AFP which states that “except for the Chief of Staff of the AFP, no officer shall be assigned/designated to the aforementioned key positions or promoted to the rank of brigadier general/commodore or higher if he has less than one year of active service remaining prior to compulsory retirement.”

“This is one rare issue that I support Malacanang because they are right,” he said.

It therefore follows, Lacson said, that the CA has no legal authority to include Abadilla as one of the candidates for confirmation since there was no nomination or appointment that the CA can consider.

He cited Section 17 of the CA rules which states that ‘nominations or appointments submitted by the President of the Philippines which are not finally acted upon at the close of the session of Congress shall be returned to the President and, unless new nominations or appointments are made, shall not again be considered by the Commission.

Lacson has informed other CA members and Senate President Manuel Villar of his position to prevent future confirmation of nominees by invoking Section 20 of the CA rules until the body acts to correct the anomaly.