Department of Justice

In sudden announcement, DOJ Spokesperson resigns

Lian Buan

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In sudden announcement, DOJ Spokesperson resigns

DOJ Undersecretary Markk Perete. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

'I would have liked to continue under Secretary Guevarra's leadership but it would be a disservice to do so at this time,' Undersecretary Perete says

Markk Perete, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesperson and one of the most trusted undersecretaries of Secretary Menardo Guevarra, resigned on Thursday, October 1, in a sudden announcement that jolted the justice media beat.

In a message sent 5:40 am to the beat’s Viber group, Perete said: “After much thought, I have decided to submit my resignation from the DOJ effective today due to serious reasons.”

Perete was yet to personally inform Guevarra of his decision, but the breaking news had overtaken it. Guevarra has not yet replied to Rappler’s questions as of writing.

“I will inform the Secretary of my decision today as well,” said Perete.

“As I said, this decision and the reason for it are very personal. I would have liked to continue under Secretary Guevarra’s leadership but it would be a disservice to do so at this time,” Perete added.

Work at the DOJ

Perete was mainly Undersecretary for Immigration, but he was also in charge of many special tasks at the DOJ, including reviews of proposed amendments to laws.

He was closely involved in the task force that probed corruption in Philhealth.

He was also closely involved in two special panels – the Administrative Order (AO) 35 panel that probed extrajudicial killings, and the recently-created drug war review panel that looked into the accountability of policemen in the deaths in Oplan TokHang.

He was hands-on as well in justice reforms, working with the Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC), and the recently-launched National Justice Information System (NJIS).

His work as spokesperson was an added task entrusted to him by Guevarra. When Guevarra was on leave, Perete was in charge.

As spokesperson, Perete provided the balance to a much-politicized DOJ.

Under the toughest crises faced by the department, Perete stuck to a formula that works – being a lawyer, sticking to legal explanations in otherwise highly-charged issues.

Perete was one of Guevarra’s recruits when the latter was appointed as Secretary of Justice. Guevarra asked the undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of former secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to resign, and brought over trusted people.

Guevarra and Perete both worked in Malacañang prior to the DOJ. Before that, Perete worked for Guevarra in the latter’s law firm with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

Perete obtained both his undergraduate and law degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.