Palace regrets Ubial rejection by CA

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Senator Gringo Honasan, chair of the CA committee on health, said that the committee reached "a hard decision" after scrutinizing voluminous documents and hearing the testimonies of the appointee and the oppositors.

Raised against Ubial were her appointments of officers in charge in Philhealth, which is a prerogative of the President; her supposed inconsistencies during the Zika virus outbreak, and pricey foreign trips with her son.

Ubial was not present when the decision on her confirmation was announced.

Ubial became the fifth Duterte appointee rejected by the powerful CA.

The opposition were filed by Rep. Harry Roque (Kabayan party-list), lawyer Restituto Mendoza and from Potenciano Malvar, medical director of the Gen. Miguel M. Malvar Medical Foundation in Quezon City.

At one point during her confirmation hearing, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd told Ubial: "If smoking is unsafe to your health, lying is risky to your confirmation".

Francisco claimed that Ubial committed "grave abuse of power and usurpation of authority".

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Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that there was a motion to disapprove the ad interim appointment of Ubial as Health Secretary and there were no objections.

Abella extended the government's gratitude to Ubial for her service to the nation and wished her well in her future endeavors.

Former Philippine Health Insurance Corp. interim president Hildegardes Dineros had earlier accused Ubial of lying when she said he resigned voluntarily, saying he was ousted upon her instigation.

Vice President Leni Robredo, who served as Housing Secretary and Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima resigned, while another Cabinet secretary, former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno was sacked by Duterte amid allegations of corruption.

Ubial on Tuesday said she had no idea what led to her rejection but said she respected the appointments body's decision.

Ubial's appointment was bypassed by the commission twice.

"The success of universal health care and all other health reforms of the administration lies in the hands of the next DoH secretary". "Let's not blow it a second time around".

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