Duterte had other plans for Menardo Guevarra
It was an offer he could not refuse as Special Assistant to the President Bong Go had told him it was a "must" that he accept the position.
It's not clear how long Guevarra will stay in the DOJ as his appointment is ad interim and will require the approval of Congress' Commission on Appointments. There's also buzz that Duterte is considering another candidate to take on the DOJ in a more long-term capacity.
Another telling detail is that Duterte once had other plans for Guevarra.
According to a reliable source, the President was considering appointing Guevarra as Supreme Court justice.
Of course, the process for doing so is more complicated than appointing a Cabinet member. The Judicial and Bar Council screens possible candidates to fill in vacancies at the SC and then submits a shortlist to the President for him to choose from.
A candidate for a position in the SC and the Court of Appeals should be at least 40 years old with 15 years of practice as a judge of a lower court, or 15 years of law practice in the country.
Duterte gets to appoint at least 12 justices in his term. So far, he has appointed 4. One of them, Justice Samuel Martires, is retiring in 2019.
Entrusting the DOJ, a highly sensitive and critical department, to Guevarra, and considering placing him in the Supreme Court shows a rare level of trust Duterte places on persons outside his immediate circle.
Guevarra is not a childhood friend, a fellow San Bedan, or a Davaoeño. His main line to Duterte is with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, his friend and former law firm partner.
In fact, Guevarra was an appointee of Benigno Aquino III. He bagged his first top post in government under the previous administration. In Aquino's Malacañang, Guevarra was deputy executive secretary for legal affairs, working closely with then Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
Aquino had then appointed him commissioner at the Philippine Competition Commission.
Another recent appointment shows Duterte is widening his circle. He decided to give Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde the top Philippine National Police post though Albayalde never served in Davao. – Rappler.com
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