Getting a confirmation for your position as a cabinet secretary from the powerful bicameral Commission on Appointments (CA) can either be a walk-in-the park or pain (flame?) in the ass.
It really depends on whether or not the members of the committee are picking your brains for your knowledge and competence in the job objectively or they are just subjectively prying into your private life because you have stepped on their toes in the course of your job.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima got the latter treatment from the spiteful Sen. Jinggoy Estrada who everybody knows has an ax to grind against de Lima.
Although Estrada has been assuring de Lima long before that he won’t block her appointment, the fact is that the crafty senator has been able to hurl allegations/accusations maligning de Lima’s reputation, both private and public.
From his accusation based on a dead man’s tale that de Lima received P1-million monthly allowance during her stint as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) under the Arroyo administration, to imputing that it was de Lima who facilitated the escape of the Reyes brothers from Palawan accused in the murder of broadcaster-environmentalist Gerry Ortega, and even down to de Lima’s alleged illicit relationship – all smacks of despicable behavior frothing in revenge displayed by an actor who disguises well his true feelings.
It boiled down to pretense and masquerading with smiles and smirks, because at the end it was between him and the Justice Secretary when Estrada also asked de Lima why she had to ask immigration officials about details of his travels abroad when there was no legal impediment for him to travel, this after the filing of the pork barrel scam complaint and charged for plunder before the Ombudsman.
De Lima clarified that she was just confirming his whereabouts with the Bureau of Immigration but did not stop him from leaving.
Estrada told de Lima that he has no intention to evade the charges against him which he described as “fabricated.” This elicited a quick response from de Lima saying that it was not “fabricated.”
“I don’t have any plans of leaving the country,” Estrada said.
It was Estrada trying to rescue himself and clawing back at de Lima’s confirmation hearing. It made his day that he was able to portray de Lima, like him, a crook.
Can’t we have a congressional ruling where a congressman or a senator will inhibit himself/herself from attending a CA confirmation hearing if he/she has had clashes with the subject to be confirmed just so objectivity shall be observed during the proceedings?