Coloma to face CA confirmation soon

September 7, 2010 10:09 am 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Sept. 7 — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) head Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma expects being subjected soon to the Commission on Appointments (CA) process for confirming appointments of Cabinet members.

"I myself will face CA – my post at PCOO, the former Office of the Press Secretary, is among those required to go through this confirmation process," he said.

He clarified the matter after some reports cited him and presidential communications colleague Secretary Ricky Carandang as being excluded from Malacanang's nominees for CA confirmation since they allegedly serve in an acting capacity only.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda clarified earlier presidential appointees who serve in such capacity need not go through CA's confirmation process unlike those with ad interim appointments.

Coloma denies being an acting communications secretary, however.

"I examined my appointment papers and these don't mention the word 'acting' at all," he said.

He noted neither does Carandang's appointment papers say he'll serve in an acting capacity only.

Reports further said Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo, environment chief Ramon Paje and labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz won't go through the confirmation process since they're acting heads of respective departments.

Coloma doesn't see this as affecting government's service.

Malacanang can withdraw Cabinet appointments anytime if officials concerned are remiss in their duties, he pointed out.

Robredo, Coloma, Carandang and Lacierda are under fire for allegedly failing to undertake respective duties during the Aug. 23 Manila hostage crisis.

Skeptics are questioning Robredo's alleged "inactiveness" during the crisis, noting Philippine National Police (PNP) is an attached agency of DILG.

They also charge the three Malacanang communication heads should have moved to temper media's real-time, blow-by-blow coverage of the incident since hostage-taker dismissed PNP senior inspector Rolando Mendoza was able to monitor police movement on the scene through the television in the tourist bus he captured.

Robredo earlier clarified his assignment is attending to local government concerns, like relocating informal settlers, since DILG Undersecretary Rico Puno is tasked with concentrating on PNP.

Coloma said Malacanang's communications group is already discussing with various media groups parameters for covering crisis situations.

He noted officials under fire for the hostage tragedy and other Cabinet members as well know they can be dismissed anytime if Malacanang no longer sees them as being effective public servants. (PNA)

V3/CJT/mec

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