Posted by: Mer Pints | June 25, 2008

Is President Arroyo’s appointing power abused? (Ano ba iyan…)


(Photo file from the internet)

If ever the president of the Republic of the Philippines abused her appointing power, what’s wrong with It? Is this not her prerogative being the highest official of the land?

May katotohanan ba na inaabuso raw ni Presidente Arroyo ang kanyang kapangyarihang maglukluk ng kanyang mga tauhan sa gobyerno? E, ano naman ang masama roon? Sa masama wala, pero may pananaw kasi ang publiko na hindi kung sino-sino lang ang iluluklok mo sa puwesto dahil magiging sanhi pa ito ng katiwalian dahil lamang sa pagtanaw ng utang na loob.

Ex-Cabinet officials: Arroyo worse than Marcos in abuse of appointing power


The Former Senior Government Officials (FSGO) issued a statement Saturday night, hitting President Arroyo’s “abuse” of her appointing powers.

The FSGO is a group of around 100 former senior officials, from the Marcos government to the Arroyo administration, advocating good governance.

The officials also alleged that Arroyo’s record on appointing officials not based on competence and merit is even worse than the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In particular, they expressed disappointment over the recent appointment of former Pampanga governor Mark Lapid to the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA).

Another example they cited was Arroyo’s appointment of former National Economic and Development Authority chief Romulo Neri to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

“We shall in the following weeks, detail as many instances and examples of the abuse and misuse of the presidential prerogative to appoint, and in the process show, how badly we the people are served, and how damaging these are to the institutions of government,” the FSGO said.

Lapid’s appointment in the PTA “shows clearly how such presidential prerogative to appoint is a clear mismatch to the needs of good governance,” the FSGO said.

Lapid is the son of Senator Manuel Lapid, a political ally and province mate of President Arroyo. He lost to priest-on-leave Fr. Ed Panlilio in the 2007 election for governor.

As for Neri, the FSGO questioned his lack of a doctorate degree. “The [CHED] appointee must possess an academic doctorate. Such qualifications of fact are supposed to be condition sine qua non, and cannot be waived merely because the president, as appointing authority, so decides.”

“In our estimation, no president, not even Ferdinand Marcos who ruled with authoritarian powers, has so abused the appointing power given by the Constitution and our laws based on the condition that public office will always be upheld as public trust,” the FSGO said.

“There is a surfeit of excess appointees at the top. There are more undersecretaries and assistant secretaries than the plantilla and the approved budgets of our departments can accommodate. But no matter—the president merely appoints whomever she pleases to whatever position she wants. She has even created positions and titles within the bureaucracy that have neither public need nor a modicum of sense,” the FSGO said.

“Good governance is about the right systems implemented by the right persons…. It is worse… when persons who have little competence, low credibility, and questionable integrity are appointed to positions of great power and influence,” the FSGO further said.

“We, as former senior government officials, find it our responsibility to the public, to call attention to the wanton disrespect for the civil service, and worse, the abuse of the presidential prerogative to appoint,” the FSGO said.

The statement issued Saturday night is the latest of a series of FSGO statements on President Arroyo’s poor governance.

The FSGO members organized themselves in February after an official of the Philippine Forest Corp., Rodolfo Noel “Jun” Lozada, exposed alleged irregularities in the US$329 million national broadband network (NBN) contract with China’s ZTE Corp. and dragged Malacañang into the scandal.


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