COA Asked to Review Confirmation Process

The bicameral Commission on Appointments should revisit the rules of confirmation of government officials in the light of the apparent failure of the body to check the fitness and integrity of military officials who have been accused of corruption, Senator Franklin Drilon said.

Drilon, assistant majority floor leader of the bicameral body, on Tuesday said that documents submitted to the body by former Generals Carlos Garcia and Jacinto Ligot indicate that they had insufficient income while they were in the military to purchase several properties and own bank accounts with hundreds of millions of pesos in deposits.

“The House and Senate investigation on the corruption in the Armed Forces, to my mind, reveals a weakness in our process here in the Commission on Appointments,” Drilon manifested during the mass confirmation of 90 military officers, pointing out Garcia’s and Ligot’s statement of assets and liabilities and net worth, income tax return and bank records provided by the Anti-Money Laundering Council in the court.
“We have, to a certain extent, failed in our duty to check on the qualification and fitness of the nominees that we examine in the CA, not only in the Armed Forces but likewise in the civilian sector of our government, including the constitutional agencies,” he added.

“You cannot help but come to the question: what were we doing all this time? There must have been laxity, I must admit,” Drilon stressed.

“I was in the CA for the past 13 years, almost half of which I was chairman and I must admit that the process of examining the nominees’ fitness and qualification can stand improvement. It is in this context that the secretariat should be instructed to come up with a review of the process and find out how we can strengthen the process of checking the fitness and qualification of the nominees,” he said.

“If we just let these things go, we can never be able to correct the system,” he noted.