LAWYERS at the Palace have been burning the midnight oil scrutinizing nearly a thousand appointments made by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in various government agencies, including state-run corporations, from January this year until she bowed out of office on June 30.
One lawyer says the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) has so far tracked 977 Arroyo appointments in the last six months of her nine-year reign. “The list is growing,” says another lawyer involved in the rigid review of documents on the appointments but who is too timid to be named.
SHE ALREADY created a furor with her “midnight appointments,” or appointments made on the eve of an election ban. Yet a month after the May 10, 2010 elections, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo still managed to sneak in a final batch of 13 appointments on the eve of her departure from office.
Arroyo signed the appointments on June 10, 2010 even as dusk had settled on her presidency. She did so seemingly oblivious to the fact that the day before, June 9, the joint congressional committee of Congress, which canvassed the votes, had already proclaimed Benigno Simeon Aquino III as the new President of the Republic.
PRESIDENT GLORIA Macapagal Arroyo herself gives the lie to her administration’s avowed efforts to trim the bureaucracy of excess personnel.
A 2008 study by the Civil Service Commission lists Arroyo’s office as the agency with the biggest number of undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, advisers, assistants and consultants in excess of caps set in law, and without civil service eligibility.
What to do with these Arroyo appointees is the acid test that Ricardo Lirag Saludo must hurdle in his new post as CSC chairman with a fixed seven-year tenure.
THE RECENT nomination of Ricardo Lirag Saludo as chairperson of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) effectively signals the capture by political appointees of managerial positions in the bureaucracy that had previously been reserved to career service personnel.
A rabid defender and loyal functionary of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Saludo joined the government service in March 2001 as a political appointee and over the last seven years opted against securing career service eligibility.
TONIGHT (May 19) the board of trustees of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) is scheduled to interview eight contenders for DAP president. But only one of the shortlisted candidates will show up, with the rest snubbing the meeting because, they said, the results of tonight’s board deliberation are “a foregone conclusion.”
The only one who will come for the interview is the candidate personally chosen by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo: Antonio Kalaw, currently DAP senior vice president and corporate secretary. In an unusual show of defiance and protest, all the rest will boycott the event.
IS THE Career Service Executive Board (CESB), the government body that oversees the top tiers of the country’s bureaucracy, being punished by Malacañang?
Many in the CESB think so. After all, in a March 20 resolution, the CESB did something unheard of: it accused Malacañang and the Cabinet of “transgressions” of civil-service laws, rules and regulations.
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