Press Release
November 19, 2010


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said she will heed the advice of the Dalai Lama to observe compassion in deciding whether to invoke her one-person veto in the Commission on Appointments over certain cabinet members.

Santiago said she learned the virtue of compassion in Tibetan Buddhism, after meeting the Dalai Lama last year in Rome, and this November in New Delhi.

The senator said she is going to test the real meaning of the CA Rules, Section 20.

Section 20 provides:

Suspension of consideration of nominations or appointments. Any member may move for the suspension of action by the Commission on any nomination or appointment favorably recommended by a standing committee and the Chairman shall suspend the consideration of said nomination or appointment: Provided, that, such suspension may be taken up on the next succeeding session of the Commission; Provided, further, that this section shall not apply to nominations or appointments taken up by the Commission during the last session prior to a sine die adjournment of Congress.

Santiago said that according to CA tradition, Sec. 20 is interpreted to mean that just one CA member has the power to cause the bypass of a cabinet member.

"Sec. 20 allows one member to move for the suspension of the consideration of a cabinet member submitted for confirmation by the President. The motion is non-debatable. There is no voting. The CA chair has to automatically grant the motion," she said.

Santiago stressed that in invoking Sec. 20 against certain cabinet members, she is bound by the Buddhist virtues of compassion, peace, and non-violence, but she will press for the rule of law.

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