Guevarra asks courtesy resignation of DOJ usecs, asecs

MANILANewly-appointed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday directed all undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to submit their courtesy resignation amid a looming reorganization at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In the exigency of service, and in order to give the undersigned a free hand to perform the mandate given to him by the President, all incumbent undersecretaries and assistant secretaries of this Department, are hereby directed to tender their unqualified courtesy resignations to the President, through the undersigned, not later than April 30, 2018, except career officials as defined by civil service laws, rules and regulations, Guevarra said in a memorandum dated April 24 but was released to media on Monday.

Gueverra issued the order weeks after assuming the post, replacing Vitaliano Aguirre II who resigned following a string of controversies involving the DOJ.

All five current DOJ undersecretaries were appointed during Aguirre's tenure.

Four of them are members of the Lex Talionis, the fraternity of Duterte and Aguirre in San Beda University law schoolAntonio Kho Jr., Erickson Balmes, Raymund Mecate and Reynante Orceo; while Deo Marco is a son of another fraternity brother.

The order also covered seven assistant secretariesAdonis Sulit, Juvy Manwong, George Ortha II, Moslemen Macarambon Sr., Cheryl Daytec-YaAgot, Sergio Yap II and Margaret Padilla. Only Sulit did not submit a resignation letter because he is a career official who enjoys security of tenure.

Guevara said all of his deputies have already complied with the order, with some of them even filing courtesy resignation "much earlier even before the issuance of the memorandum.

He said until any action is taken by Malacanang on the courtesy resignations, all the said officials shall continue to report for work and perform their usual rules and responsibilities, subject to modification that he may deem proper.

For his part, Balmes said he, Kho and Mecate have already submitted their resignation letter to Guevarra even before the latter issued his memorandum.

I can only speak for myself, Undersecretary Kho and Undersecretary Mecate, we submitted ours on Day 1 of SOJ MIG's stewardship, Balmes told a Viber group for reporters.

Balmes added that Ortha have also tendered his resignation.

Guevarra earlier said the President gave him a free hand to institute reforms and other measures to improve the delivery of services of the DOJ as well as to remove or replace officials in the department.

Gueverra vowed to bring back the good image of the justice department when he assumed his post.

Aguirre resigned from his post amid criticisms brought about by the dismissal of the drug charges against confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa by DOJ prosecutors and his decision to grant alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles provisional coverage under the witness protection program.

Source: Philippine News Agency