It was a “badge of honor” to be rejected the same way as former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, we both stood for our integrity and could never be labeled as “corrupt”.
This was the reaction of Former Social Welfare and Development Secretary (DSWD) Judy Taguiwalo when she found out that she was not able to hurdle the Commission on Appointments on the 3rd try.
“I was hoping for the best but expecting the worst,” said the erstwhile DSWS Secretary in a press conference after the CA rejected her appointment.
The former Secretary made her disappointment known, but she reiterates that the CA rejection did not reflect the views of the people who supported her.
There were three reasons she believed as to why she was not able to get the confirmation-- her reservations against the Duterte administration’s proposed tax reform package, her stand against pork barrel and her being a former member of the National Democratic Front (NDF), negotiating arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Taguiwalo even before has expressly made her reservations re the tax reform noting that it will affect the poor and the marginalized, though she was willing to implement it once it becomes a law.
Her stand against the pork barrel, where some of the congressmen and women would continue to approach the Department claiming supposedly there share on the department’s budget.
“…Meron silang sinasabi na ‘may pera ako diyan’, e hindi ‘yan ayon sa batas. Wala akong ginagawa na masama, ang ginawa ko tumindig ako sa desisyon ng Supreme Court na walang pork dapat (They tell me ‘I have a share there’ but it’s not according to the law. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, the only thing I did was stand by the decision of the Supreme Court that there should no longer be pork),” Taguiwalo said.
“…Ang pondo ng DSWD ay common fund at hindi entitlement ni congressman or congresswoman (The funds of the DSWD are common funds and not the entitlement of a congressman or congresswoman),” she added.
Taguwalo did not say if some of the members of the CA are the ones who approached her before.
The third reason is her links with the National Democratic Front (NDF), there might have been reports that reached the CA that the DSWD provided assistance to the armed rebels when she was really assisting "lumad” groups.
The former Secretary expressed her gratitude to the President of the Republic- Rodrigo Duterte for the opportunity to serve the country by leading DSWD, and lauded him for being the only President so far to allow members of the CPPP-NDP to occupy a high position in government.
“I acknowledge that President Duterte has so far been the only President to give space to members of the left. I’m just sad that it was such a short engagement. I would have wanted to see through the reforms he wanted through remaining years of his administration,” Taguiwalo said.
The former DSWD Secretary also said that she believed the peace process under the Duterte administration has been the “most advanced” among administrations and expressed hope that it would continue.
report from pna.gov.ph