MANILA, March 14 A Philippine congressional
panel has deferred its decision on whether to confirm or reject
the appointment of Environment Secretary Regina Lopez, the head
of the panel said on Tuesday, and will conduct more hearings in
"Secretary Lopez's ad interim appointment is considered
bypassed," Senator Manny Pacquiao told reporters. "In May, we
will (re)open the hearing. We still have a lot of questions for
Bypassing Lopez means Congress is effectively deferring a
decision on her appointment. Such a deferral allows Duterte
either to reappoint her to his cabinet, or name someone else,
until another confirmation hearing is done in future.
In the Philippines, confirmation hearings can take place
long after ministers start work. Congress goes into recess from
March 18 and will only resume sessions in May.
(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Manolo Serapio Jr.;
Editing by Joseph Radford)