After publicly contradicting himself about his American citizenship, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay on Wednesday was scolded by Liberal Party treasurer Rep. Josephine “Nene” Ramirez-Sato for accusing critics to his appointment as part of a destabilization effort.
Sato, member of the bicameral Commission on Appointments, noted Yasay’s earlier lies: his public admission that he once carried an American passport, which he said he returned with his naturalization certificate.
She said how this contradicted his earlier statement to the CA, which put his confirmation on hold due to his questionable citizenship.
On the morning of another hearing with the CA, Yasay gave another radio interview where the secretary expressed his “suspicion that questioning his citizenship in the Commission on Appointments is part of the destabilization effort against the administration,” said Sato, representative of the lone district of Occidental Mindoro.
“It pains me, Mr. Chairman, that anything and everything that cannot be answered could be attributed to destabilization. The actuations of the secretary, at the very least, are contemptuous of this commission,” she added.
Asked about Yasay’s contradictory statements, Liberal Party president Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, another CA member, said:
“The destabilization issue being raised by Secretary Yasay is a poor attempt at diverting the issue from the real issue of his unfitness to assume the office. He lied without compunction before the Commission on Appointments on the matter of his having acquired American citizenship and thought he could take the CA members for fools. Clearly the CA members found this offensive and completely unacceptable.”
Yasay apologized. He said his admission about his citizenship has been the same he gave in his media interviews. “I did not legally acquire US citizenship,” he said.
The CA suspended the hearing and had an executive session of Yasay’s appointment.