President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to the DOJ on April 2018.
The STAR/KJ Rosales
Guevarra to think about SC justice nomination 'very, very seriously'
Kristine Joy Patag ( - November 20, 2019 - 2:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — A retired Sandiganbayan magistrate nominated Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to become the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Retired Sandiganbayan Justice Raoul Victorino recommended Guevarra to the associate justice seat vacated by now Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.

Victorino cited Guevarra’s years of work as deputy executive secretary for legal affairs and oversight representative of the executive secretary in National Economic Development Authority meetings at the Office of the President.

He also noted the justice chief’s work as arbitrator of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as a member of the Philippine legal team that won the landmark arbitral ruling for the Philippines at The Hague.

“I believe that he possesses the necessary credentials, professional experience and the motivation to discharge his duties as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court,” Victorino said.

He also vouched for Guevarra’s “competence, integrity, probity, independence and sense of patriotism.”

Guevarra thanked the retired anti-graft court justice for the recommendation but said he would “have to think about it very, very seriously.”

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Guevarra, then senior deputy executive secretary, as the head of the Justice Department last April 2018. He replaced former DOJ chief Vitaliano Aguirre II who was embroiled in controversy due to the dismissal of drug raps against Peter Lim.

Guevarra admitted that becoming a magistrate is an “appealing” post, but said that he has “not really thought about it because I am really very busy at the work at the DOJ.”

“At the proper time, perhaps I will consider it,” Guevarra said at a chance interview at the Senate for the deliberations on DOJ's 2020 budget.

"I don't think any lawyer will close the possibility to be appointed to such a lofty position," he also said.

Guevarra has until November 25 to signify his acceptance of the nomination. Should he accept the recommendation, Guevarra would be among the candidates that the JBC would screen for the shortlist that the panel would prepare for the president.

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