MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra was sworn in as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday, April 5, following the resignation of Vitaliano Aguirre II.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with reporters that President Rodrigo Duterte just signed Guevarra's ad interim appointment that day, shortly after Aguirre's resignation was announced.
Asked why the President chose Guevarra to replace Aguirre, Roque said Guevarra is known for his "expertise in the law and his integrity."
LOOK: #PresidentDuterte signs appointment papers of SDES Menardo Guevarra. | Palace photos @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/Y0uIkpPuJ5 — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) April 5, 2018
Guevarra is known as the right-hand man of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, having worked together in the same law firm. A crucial Malacañang workhorse, he is responsible for penning important Palace issuances such as executive orders and memorandum orders signed by Duterte.
He was the one who drafted, for instance, Duterte's martial law proclamation when the Marawi crisis exploded.
Guevarra has become a familiar face recently because he served as Malacañang spokesman while Roque was in Austria for Holy Week.
Before serving in the Duterte administration, Guevarra was already a Palace official during the administration of Benigno Aquino III, serving as deputy executive secretary for legal affairs. He had then been appointed commissioner at the Philippine Competition Commission.
Guevarra graduated from the Ateneo Law School and placed second in the 1985 bar examinations. He taught law at his alma mater. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.