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Duterte to Guevarra

Restore DOJ’s ‘dignified
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:04 AM April 07, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administers the oath of Ad Interim Secretary of Justice
Menardo Guevarra during a ceremony at the Malacañang Palace on April 5, 2018. ACE

“Bring back the dignified image” of the Department of Justice (DOJ).


Newly appointed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday said this was the
marching order he had received from President Duterte, as he took over an agency
lately dogged by controversy.

Mr. Duterte installed Guevarra, a former senior deputy executive secretary, at the helm
of the DOJ after accepting the resignation of Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier quoted the President as saying that he
was displeased with the DOJ decision to dismiss the drug charges against several
confessed drug lords, including Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim, in a move seen as a
setback in the government’s war on drugs.

Guevarra said he was “overwhelmed” by Mr. Duterte’s confidence in him. “The
President seldom sees me, yet he entrusts such a sensitive position to me,” he said.

I am eternally grateful to all!” ‘Collective efforts’ He also acknowledged the agency’s “collective efforts” that. Aguirre’s decision to resign was “good for him and the country.” For Aguirre. “the DOJ is better not because of me but because everybody committed heart.” he added.” said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. .” The former justice secretary and his wife. Aguirre added: “I am not sad that (my stint) has ended. expressed “gratitude” to the President “for (his) trust and confidence” and “the opportunity to serve our countrymen as the steward of DOJ. who was largely credited for putting behind bars Mr. during the noontime Mass held to mark the first Friday of the month. He had started packing his personal effects from his office. which also counts Mr. opposition Sen. Manila.” In a message to DOJ employees and officials on Friday. Marissa. “He was so erratic as a secretary in his sense of justice. Lex Talionis. according to Justice Undersecretary and DOJ spokesperson Erickson Balmes. Aside from the dismissal of charges against the confessed drug lords. several controversies hounded Aguirre in his two-year stint as head of the DOJ. Duterte and four of Aguirre’s deputies among its members. he said. “(had) improved the DOJ in key areas. Duterte’s most vocal critic. Leila de Lima. ADVERTISEMENT The former DOJ chief. body and soul to march toward a single cadence. declined media interviews. including his claim that several opposition lawmakers were behind the terror attack in Marawi City in May last year. rather I am thankful that it happened. joined department officials and employees at the DOJ office on Padre Faura.Aguirre. who wore a jacket bearing the name of his fraternity. meanwhile.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that the DOJ’s exoneration of the confessed drug lords showed Aguirre’s bias for the rich and the powerful. “(I)f abuses or oversight were committed. Bam Aquino said he was elated over Aguirre’s resignation. his actions at the DOJ should be assessed. capable and respectable justice secretary who will lead with integrity and rebuild our trust in the DOJ. Sen.” she added. Hontiveros added. He is a secretary of injustice!” Bastes said.” Sen. JULIUS N. adding in a statement that “the Filipino people deserve a credible. MARLON RAMOS. (Aguirre) cannot claim immunity from having to account for them. AVENDAÑO Read more: http://newsinfo. ‘Secretary of injustice’ “His act encourages drug lords to continue their criminal activities and the proliferation of extrajudicial killings and murders.” She said the President’s move “absolves Aguirre from accountability.inquirer.” Still. Grace Poe said. Aguirre’s departure from the DOJ was “a clear victory against injustice and impunity. At the Senate.” Whether Aguirre’s resignation was graceful or unceremonious. and amounts to little more than a sorry attempt on the (President’s) part to save face despite Aguirre’s repeated fiascos. LEONEN. Risa Hontiveros also issued a statement describing the President’s acceptance of Aguirre’s resignation as “too late the hero for Justice Zero. Sen. AURELIO AND CHRISTINE O. —REPORTS FROM NESTOR dignified-image#ixzz5BwpVlFSE Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook . JULIE M. even if they were criminals.