Philippine commission rejects 5th Duterte cabinet appointee

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-10 21:11:19|Editor: liuxin
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MANILA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Commission on Appointments rejected on Tuesday the appointment of acting Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who was the fifth of President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet nominations to be rejected by lawmakers.

The commission hasn't given any reason for the rejection.

Ubial was an assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Duterte picked her to run the department since June 2016.

Just a couple of days before the hearing, more than 100 employees from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation employee signed a manifesto against Ubial citing to "grave abuse of power and usurpation of authority."

The Philippine local media reported that Ubial suspended allowances and salary adjustments of all the employees from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

In addition, some Senates earlier criticized Ubial that "she recorded a significant number of foreign and domestic trips in her short period in office and that in some instances, she brought along members of her family."

After the rejection, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman, Ernesto Abella, expressed regret over the congressional commission's decision.

"We regret the commission's non-confirmation of Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial," Abella said in a statement.

"We are deeply grateful for Secretary Ubial's service to the health department and for epitomizing the president's caring attitude through her 'All for Health, towards Health for All' Philippine health agenda."

"We wish Secretary Ubial well in all her future endeavors," Abella said.

Ubial is the fifth Duterte appointee rejected by the powerful congressional commission. The body has also rejected acting Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, acting Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, acting Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, and acting Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay.

In the Philippines, the cabinet appointees have to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments, which is composed of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The confirmation can be held even long time after a secretary takes office.