QUEZON CITY – The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John R. Castriciones.
Senator Grace Poe, who presided over the CA’s committee on agrarian reform said the decision to approve Castriciones’ appointment was reached in an executive session.
Poe said a secret voting was made and 13 members of the panel voted to approve the DAR chief’s nomination and only two objected.
The senator added she would report the panel’s recommendation to the CA plenary on Wednesday.
When she endorses the recommendation on the floor, Poe said she would remind Castriciones to address the concerns raised by those who opposed his nomination.
Castriciones first entered DAR when he was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December last year, taking over the post of Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano whose nomination was rejected by the CA.
For more than 23 years, Castriciones was a law practitioner who appeared in inferior and superior courts throughout the country. During this period, he also served as legal counsel for several corporations and top government officials in controversial and precedent-setting cases.
In 2009, he served as Director for Investigation, Security and Law Enforcement Services (ISLES) of the Department of Transportation and Communication, and as assistant spokesman and deputy chairman of the Task Force Gabay of the Tagapagligtas sa Karagatan.
At the beginning of the current administration, he served as undersecretary for operations for the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) until his recent appointment at DAR.
He also serves as the national president of Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) and founding the senior partner of the Castriciones Legal Consultancy, where his children, who are also lawyers, practice their profession.
In the previous hearing, the CA bypassed his appointment after several lawmakers questioned his experience and track record. ### (Public Assistance and Media Relations Service, Department of Agrarian Reform)