Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday is confident that Senator Gringo Honasan, the incoming Department of Information and Communications Technology secretary, will breeze through the confirmation hearing of the Commission on Appointments being a current member of the chamber.
“We have a tradition in the CA. Kapag ikaw ay former member of Senate you will be given courtesy. E siya pa na current member,” he said.
He said Honasan’s appointment papers in for his new position would be released on Nov. 12 when the Senate session resumes.
Speaking during the “Kapihan sa Cafe Adriatico,” Sotto said they already discussed the matter in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Senators Panfilo Lacson, Honasan, and himself on Oct. 29.
“Last Oct. 29, we had a meeting with the President, Senator Lacson, Honasan, with ES and SAP. It was discussed. We talked that Greg can make it on Nov. 12,” Sotto said.
“I hope I am not pre-empting the Palace or Greg because we really talked about this,” he said.
He said this is to avoid an ad interim appointment which would force Honasan to resign from the Senate.
“Napag-usapan lang naman kasi si Greg na para hindi ad interim, para nomination,” said Sotto.
In other words, he said if Honasan is confirmed and took his oath, it’s the only time he would be resigning as member of the Senate.
“When we resume next week he would still be in the Senate,” he said.
He said Honasan will be a big loss to the Senate. “You’ve seen how he handles his committees.”
But Sotto said he believes that Honasan would be an asset in the DICT.
“He would be an asset in the DICT kasi ang malaking factor du’n ang national security, even the entry of the third telecommunications company,” he said
He said this would be much better than losing the “graduating senator” after 2019 after his term expires.
“Pero at least sa executive department siya. Every now and then puwede namin siyang ipatawag at pagalitan namin ni Senator Lacson,” Sotto said in jest.
The Senate leader also said he has yet to think of a replacement for Honasan as chairman of the Committee on National Defense and the Committee on Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation.
When questioned if Honasan’s assumption at the DICT would disrupt the process of picking the third telecommunications company, Sotto said he doubts it as Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio would remain in the department.
“Senator Honasan is a good manager so he will not disrupt anything beneficial to the government. I don’t see any problem with that because Secretary Rio will not be going to be replaced; he is still there,” he said.