SEPTEMBER 11, 2019 – The Commission on Appointments swiftly approved the appointment of Gregorio Honasan II on Wednesday as secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Representatives from the Senate and House of Representatives did not raise any opposition on the ad interim appointment of the former senator, after Negros Occidental Rep. Genaro Alvarez Jr. moved for his confirmation in the plenary.
His former colleagues in the Senate likewise vouched for his character and ability to lead the DICT.
“I agree with the speakers before me that there is no doubt that Secretary Honasan is qualified for the position.If there were still doubts in the minds or opinions of others, we are confident that he will dispel them in nut time as he carry out his duties and responsibilites at DICT,” Senator Cynthia Villar said.
Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri, also emphasized Honasan’s contribution in the military.
“When I was a young teenager, I was starstruck at this mestizo in fatigue uniform carrying a rifle. He had achieved a cult status as a reformist of the Armed Forces who was committed to change and risk his life for it. He was our original ‘lodi’ and he continues to be my ‘lodi,'” Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is a classmate of Honasan in the Philippine Military Academy, made a brief message of support.
“A distinguished cavalier, mistah, colleague, friend, brother, I need not to say anything more except to say I second the motion of the distinguished sponsor [Alvarez],” he said.
Prior to his appointment, the CA panel recommended him as DICT chief in just 10 minutes without any question.
San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora said Honasan is “extremely qualified” for the position.
“There is no question that we are dealing with an individual who is extremely qualified to take this position. The House contingent after deliberating upon the qualifications and the fitness of the appointee, we have concluded that we have no need for further questions,” Zamora said.
Honasan replaced acting secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., joining the long list of ex-military men serving government posts under the Duterte administration.
But before the former senator assumed his post, questions were raised about his capability and credentials to lead the agency.
Under Republic Act No. 10844, which created the DICT, the agency’s secretary must have “at least seven years of competence and expertise in any of the following: information and communications technology, information technology service management, information security management, cybersecurity, data privacy. e-Commerce, or human capital development in the ICT sector.”
Honasan has a background in Economics from the University of the Philippines and graduated as “Class Baron” from the Philippine Military Academy in 1971.
He also has a Masters Degree in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management.
Prior to his first election as an independent senator in 1995, Honasan was recognized for his participation in the EDSA revolution as one of the leaders of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement.
He was also the aide-de-camp of former defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile. He also participated in two failed coup attempts against the Corazon Aquino administration.
In the 17th Congress, Honasan served as chairperson of the Committees on National Defense and Security, and Peace, Unification and Reconciliation. (Karen Macalalad/ AAD)