CSC: DOTC chief can't appoint CAAP executives

By Rudy Santos

February 8, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has voided the appointment of seven directors of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), ruling that Transport and Communications Secretary Jose de Jesus had no authority to appoint them.

Stripped of their appointments were Ramon Gutierrez, now CAAP director general; Napoleon Garcia, deputy director general for operations; Wilfredo Borja, assistant director general (Air Traffic Services); Andrew Basallote, assistant director general (Air Navigation Service); Edgardo Costes, assistant director general (Aerodrome Development and Management Service); Wilson Mirabona, assistant director general (Aerodrome Development and Management Service); and Andres Laurilla, assistant director general (Civil Aviation Training Center).

When De Jesus made the appointments in November, then CAAP chief Alfonso Cusi questioned the validity of the appointments because the law stipulates that the CAAP director general shall be the appointing authority for all technical and supervisory personnel. The appointments would also have to be approved by the CAAP board.

Cusi, however, clarified that he did not question the qualifications of the appointees. He resigned in December 2010, saying he felt ignored by his superiors.

In a letter to President Aquino, the CSC said under the law, “the only appointing authority at the CAAP (aside from the CAAP chief), from the lowest to the highest position, is the President of the Philippines.”

The CSC had no objections to the qualifications of the other appointees, but noted that the appointment of Costes was nullified because “he does not meet the 5,000 hours pilot-in-command experience requirement.”

Gutierrez said all seven of them will ask Aquino to validate their appointments.

“We will ask the President to appoint the seven officials by way of going around the CSC restrictions,” he said.

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