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Guevarra declining SC nomination a ‘personal decision’: Palace

July 06, 2020 - Monday 9:07 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Earlier, retired Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Raoul Victorino again nominated Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as Associate Justice of the High Court. (FILE PHOTO)

MANILA – It was Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s “personal decision” to decline his nomination to the Supreme Court, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte had no hand in convincing Guevarra to stay as chief of the Department of Justice.

“Ang alam ko po personal na desisyon ito. Ang huling narinig ko po kay Presidente ay kinakailangan lang naman magdesisyon si Secretary Meynard Guevarra, at nagdesisyon na po si Secretary Guevarra (I know this is a personal decision. The last I heard from the President is that Secretary Meynard Guevarra simply has to make a decision, so he already made the decision),” he said in a virtual presser.

Earlier, retired Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Raoul Victorino again nominated Guevarra as Associate Justice of the High Court.

However, in a letter dated July 4, Guevarra thanked Victorino for again nominating him, but insisted that his service at the DOJ is “most needed” amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

According to Guevarra, the country is facing a “huge and unprecedented crisis” because of Covd-19 and it is “especially during these troubled times that law and order must be preserved and maintained”.

This is the second time that Victorino has nominated Guevarra to the post, the first being in 2019 where he declined it.

Following his decision to stay as DOJ chief, Guevarra will be among the members of the anti-terrorism council (ATC) who will draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the newly-signed anti-terrorism law.

Guevarra’s role will be important especially since there are several petitions questioning the constitutionality of the controversial law before the Supreme Court.

The DOJ is among the offices which submitted feedback on the anti-terrorism law to Duterte. However, the department's position is unknown because their review is covered by executive privilege.

Duterte appointed Guevarra as Justice Chief on April 2018, after he accepted the resignation of Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Prior to his appointment as DOJ head, Guevarra served as Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs in the Office of the President. Azer Parrocha