THE Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed the appointments of Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday, September 15, 2022.The CA unanimously approved the appointment of the two officials after they answered several queries concerning their respective departments.Abalos committed to the Committee on Interior and Local Government chaired by Senator Francis Escudero that he will put to work his years of experience as a local government executive to lead the DILG particularly in raising the capacity of the local government units for effective, accountable and responsive governance.Abalos served as mayor of Mandaluyong City for 15 terms, as well as congressman of the city and chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority during the height of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.He also vowed to sustain the gains of the past administration against criminality and illegal drugs “in accordance to the law” as the DILG oversees the operation of the Philippine National Police through the National Police Commission.Meanwhile, Remulla vowed to the Committee on Justice, and Judicial and Bar Council that he will “ignite” several reforms for the improvement of the administration of justice.“It is a commitment that I make before you and our people that (we) stand by the rule of law and exercise, nothing but the rule of law,” he said.Remulla was reelected as Cavite Seventh District representative during the most recent local election, before he was appointed by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to the post.Among the topics discussed during Remulla’s deliberation were the case of detained former senator Leila de Lima, his views on the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the death penalty, red-tagging, and the status of the International Criminal Court probe on the alleged crime against humanity in the country amid the former administration’s drug war.The PCGG was created in 1986 for the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family during the time of late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.Earlier, Manila Sixth District representative Benny Abante filed a resolution seeking the abolition of the PCGG, saying it has not produced significant accomplishment over the past years and has “outgrown” its usefulness.He said its functions can be passed on to the DOJ.In its 2020 annual report, the PCGG reported the recovery of a total of P174.2 billion since its establishment in 1986 until December 31, 2020.An estimated P99.678-billion value of assets is still under litigation as of the end of 2020.For Remulla, the PCGG should be given other tasks aside from reclaiming the alleged ill-gotten wealth of one family.”Kaya ang suggestion ko na ito ay gawing fitted assets management office kasi dito nasanay ang PCGG, para makinabang tayo sa karanasan ng PCGG sa pag-handle ng ganitong mga assets,” he said.Remulla also committed a speedy trial for De Lima who has been detained since 2017 due to his implication to the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country.Several witnesses who earlier implicated De Lima to the illegal drugs trade recanted their claims, saying they were only forced and pressured to make such statements to pin her down.Remulla said they are also in close coordination with the DILG amid the government fight against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children and to increase the conviction rate in the country. (SunStar Philippines)