Outgoing Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday expressed hopes that he was able to inspire employees and officials of the Department of Justice to uphold the law and promote human rights.
During a flag-raising ceremony, Guevarra stressed that during his four years and two months stint at the Department of Justice, he hoped to have achieved two things.
“In my opinion, collectively all of us have elevated the trust and respect of the people in the DOJ; and second, I and my team have hopefully inspired you to think beyond yourselves and to aspire to fulfill our institutional duty to uphold the law and promote human rights at all times,” Guevarra said.
During his term as DOJ chief, Guevarra led the drug panel review that probed the anti-drug police operations that resulted in deaths, which others have branded as extra-judicial killings.
The DOJ earlier said at least 150 policemen are already being investigated for their involvement in 52 anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred. There are 250 cases that would be forwarded to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for further investigation and case buildup.
Guevarra, who has been appointed by President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as Solicitor General, said that even if he would be moving to another office far from the DOJ main building along Padre Faura Street in Manila, he noted that the two offices are not distantly related.
He explained that the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) was once a part of the DOJ. It was part of the former Bureau of Justice then until it became an autonomous agency of the government. Even up to now, the OSG is still attached to the DOJ, for budgetary purposes.
This would also not be his first time serving under a Marcos administration, he added.
During the presidency of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., the father of incoming Chief Executive, Guevarra was a staff economist at the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) from the mid-1970s until 1983.
He later transferred to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, until he finished his law studies and became a lawyer.
Cavite Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla will take over Guevarra’s post on June 30.
Guevarra appealed to the employees and officials of the DOJ to extend the same kindness, support, and cooperation they have shown him to the new DOJ Secretary.