EDITORIAL: Another rejection

Just like that and another cabinet appointee is gone.

After four others fell by the wayside at the hands of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA), Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial became the latest casualty among President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointees.

The CA voted Ubial down for the final time on Tuesday. Ubial is the fifth appointee disapproved by the commission. She joins former Foreign Affairs Secretary Pefecto Yasay, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Paeng” Mariano.

The decision on Ubial came after the CA committee on health conducted an executive session and recommended to reject the Health secretary’s appointment. There were 13 votes to “withhold consent to the ad interim appointment of Ubial.” Voting at the CA is confidential and not explained to the appointee. Her appointment was bypassed by the commission twice and she faced four oppositions during her confirmation hearing.

Sad it may seem, that’s how the life of appointive officials go. Their fate is subject to the judgment of the CA members who could be guided by a number of factors in their decision process. In most cases, the process could be very cruel.

Ubial will just have to accept her fate just as those four others before her.

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