Former lawmaker is new CHED commissioner

MANILA, Philippines – Former congressman Ronald Adamat is the newest commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed to Rappler that Adamat was appointed last Friday, December 9.

Adamat was a sectoral representative for cultural communities during the 10th Congress. He also served as commissioner of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples from 2010 to 2011.

His appointment comes amid calls from some CHED officials for President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint 3 more commissioners who will join Commissioner Prospero de Vera III "in the formulation and implementation of [Duterte's] programs of development for the higher education sector."

There is tension in the commission after Executive Director Julito Vitriolo, a high-ranking CHED official, wrote a letter to Duterte asking him to designate De Vera as the Commission’s officer-in-charge in place of incumbent Chairperson Patricia Licuanan.

Licuanan has continued her work as CHED chairperson despite being told to stop attending all Cabinet meetings of the Duterte administration.

Licuanan is an appointee of former President Benigno Aquino III. She was reappointed in 2014, which means her second term will not be over until 2018.

But Malacañang said it was because of Licuanan's refusal to file a courtesy resignation that she was banned from Cabinet meetings. 

According to Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella, the August 22 memorandum circular that ordered officials appointed by Aquino to resign also applied to Licuanan. (READ: Duterte's circle spreading 'intrigues' about fixed-term officials)

In his letter, Vitriolo criticized Licuanan's refusal to obey Duterte's order. He said the CHED chairperson already lost the trust and confidence of the President. (READ: 'No demoralization in CHED' despite Duterte order – commissioner) – with a report from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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