DOJ chief designated as OIC while Duterte visits Israel, Jordan

MANILA -- Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra has been designated as officer-in-charge while President Rodrigo R. Duterte visits Israel and Jordan from Sept. 2 to 9.

In Special Order 918, the President assigned Guevarra as officer-in-charge to handle day-to-day operations in the Office of the President and to oversee the general administration of the Executive Department.

Guevarra has also been authorized to act for and on behalf of the President, if necessary, except on matters that the President is required by the Constitution to act in person during the time that the President is out of the country.

Meanwhile, all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government were asked to assist the justice secretary in the discharge of his function.

Guevarra's acts, for and on behalf of the President pursuant to this order, shall be deemed acts of the President unless disapproved or reprobated by the President.

Duterte will have his official visit first to Israel from Sept. 2 to 5, making him the first Filipino leader to travel to Israel since the two countries established ties in 1957, upon invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

From Israel, Duterte will fly to Jordan to another official visit from Sept. 5 to 8 upon the invitation of His Majesty King Abdullah II as the first Philippine president to the country.

Duterte is accompanied by several Cabinet members and other government officials as he departs for his trip to Israel and Jordan.

In his eight-day official travel, Duterte seeks to witness the signing of deals on labor, trade and investment, and science and technology, between the Philippines and both Israel and Jordan.

He is also scheduled to meet the Filipino communities both in Israel and Jordan, home to about 28,000 and 48,000 Filipinos, respectively.

Traveling with the President are Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Also part of the delegation are National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Bong Go, Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino, Senator Richard Gordon, Interior officer-in-charge Eduard AAo, and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Elson Hermogino. (With reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency