THE CONFIRMATION of the heads of several independent bodies has been delayed after a senator on Monday said incoming President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. should be the one to appoint the chiefs.

The Commission on Appointments should wait for the appointments made by Mr. Marcos instead of confirming the officials named by outgoing President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri told a hearing.

The body’s committee on constitutional commissions is hearing the appointments of Election Chairman Saidamen B. Pangarungan, Election Commissioners George Erwin M. Garcia and Aimee S. Torrefranca-Neri, Commission on Audit (CoA) Chairman Rizalina Noval Justol and Civil Service Commission Chairman Karlo Alexei B. Nograles.

Mr. Zubiri noted that once they approve their appointments, Mr. Marcos could no longer appoint his own set of officials because they have a seven-year term.

“This means this new president with the mandate of 31 million votes won’t be able to appoint the head of the CoA until even up to the last day of his term,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.

“We respect the wisdom of the members of the Commission on Appointments,” Mr. Garcia said in a statement. “That’s really how it is. As correctly explained by Senator Migz Zubiri, there are serious concerns, especially since according to him there was a precedent already that the next president should be allowed to appoint the members of the constitutional commissions.” 

Senator Aquilino Martin “Koko” L. Pimentel III said Ms. Justol was appointed in February and her confirmation was only delayed because Congress had to adjourn until May 23.

“It’s a waste since there’s no opposition against her and her biodata, her career highlights — hall of famer in the most outstanding accounting office,” he said.

Mr. Pimentel said the body could decide on the appointments on a case-to-case basis, which Mr. Zubiri thumbed down since it would be unfair to the other appointees.

The committee has rescheduled deliberations for Wednesday after the motion of Mr. Zubiri, who was part of Mr. Marcos’ senatorial slate. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan