Press Release
February 15, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today accused newly-designated Interior and Local Government Secretary Antipolo City Rep. Ronaldo Puno, of illegally assuming office and of exercising the powers of this office.

Pimentel questioned Punos convening of a two-day conference of field officials of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in preparation for their role in the peoples initiative to amend the 1987 Constitutions.

He said that since Puno was appointed to his Cabinet post while Congress is in session, he cannot yet officially assume office. Under the Constitution, it is only when Congress is in recess that the President can issue ad interim appointments which are valid and effective only until disapproval by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of the Congress.

DILG Secretary-Designate Puno illegally convened the DILG regional, provincial, and city directors to a two-day confab on Charter Change through the system of peoples initiative, starting today. He has no respect for the Constitution. He cant assume the post while Congress is in session, Pimentel said.

Pimentel said Puno has not even takes his oath of office, as DILG secretary nor has he relinquished his seat in the House of Representatives.

The DILG officials conference is being held at the Occupational Safety and Health Center at the Agham Road, Quezon City.

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