Comelec Appointments Watch 2011

Issue paper on Ad Interim Appointments

Ad Interim Appointments
Issue Paper
June 3, 2011

 

Ad interim appointments.[1]

The fundamental difference of ad interim appointments and regular appointments lies in the timing of the appointment.

Ad interim appointments are made when Congress is in recess and as such, the Commission on Appointments cannot convene and vote on the appointment. Even without the confirmation, however, the appointee gets to sit and perform the functions and powers of the position until rejected by the CA or until the next adjournment of Congress.

Regular appointments, on the other hand, fittingly called ‘nominations,’ are made when Congress is in session. The CA is convened to vote on the nomination. Upon confirmation by the CA, it is only then that the appointment is finalized and therefore allowing the appointee to sit and perform the functions and powers of the position.

These illustrate that the President’s power to appoint is not curtailed by the temporary absence of a check and balance mechanism, the Commission on Appointments.

These also present strategic options for the President on when to make the appointments. The choice of “when” spells the big difference.

This was most evident in very recent appointments made by President Benigno Aquino, specifically the appointment of Sixto Brillantes as Chairman of the Commission on Elections. Brillantes was appointed one day before Congress resumed session, a deliberate effort to make his appointment ad interim. This allowed Brillantes to immediately sit and assume Chairmanship without the benefit of a CA confirmation.   The president’s desire to appoint Brillantes ad interim was made all the more glaring when the outgoing chairman, Jose Melo, stated that he was asked specifically by the president to advance the date of his announced retirement by one week.  This allowed the president a very narrow window of opportunity to appoint Brillantes on an ad interim basis.

 

Read more...

When the First Line of Defense Breaks Down

Confused, former law director Ferdinand Rafanan was lost for words when Commission on Appointments (CA) Chairman Juan Ponce Enrile lashed at him for bringing forward his complaints against nominee, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes before the CA. “It’s a Johnny-come-lately tactic,” said Enrile and House Representative Rodolfo Antonino. They argued that the venue for this type of axe-grinding is the impeachment court because a Comelec commissioner can only be removed by impeachment.

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Commission of disAppointment

If one would enter the Sen. Padilla room at the Senate last 5 October 2011, you wouldn’t probably think that a Commission on Appointments (CA) hearing was on going since the room was resounding with shouting from one of its members. Although not very unusual in a Congressional hearing, that hearing on October 5 could be considered one of the most intense.

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JOIN US! Monitor the CA hearing on the confirmation of Comelec Chairman Brillantes' appointment

Everyone's encouraged to participate and monitor the continuation of the deliberation on the ad interim appointment Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes on 05 October 2011, Wednesday, 10:00am at the Sen. Ambrosio Padilla Room, 2F, Senate of the Philippines, GSIS Bldg., Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. The hearing will include the discussion on the sworn opposition filed thereto by Atty. Ferdinand Rafanan.

(Information on the previous committee hearing held on 14 September 2011)

Background:

Atty. Sixto Brillantes was appointed Chair of the Comelec on February 2011 in an ad interim capacity which means that his appointment was done while the Congress was in recess and the Commission on Appointment (CA) could not convene as a body to hold a hearing to confirm the said appointment. 

In an ad interim capacity, even without the confirmation, the appointee got to sit and perform the functions and powers of the position until rejected by the CA or until the next adjournment of Congress.

 It is different from the regular appointments which is fittingly called ‘nominations' in the sense that here appointments are made when Congress is in session and the CA is convened to vote on the nomination. Upon confirmation by the CA, it is only then that the appointment is finalized and therefore allowing the appointee to sit and perform the functions and powers of the position.

While Chairman Brillantes has been able to discharge his functions as Chair, his appointment is yet to be confirmed by the CA to make it final until the end of his term.

 


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