MANILA - Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday said he would think about accepting his nomination as a Supreme Court Associate Justice, saying he still has “plenty of work to do” at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Retired Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Raoul Victorino nominated Guevarra as Supreme Court Associate Justice in a November 19 letter to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
“Thank you for the endorsement but I have to think about it very, very seriously,” Guevarra told reporters at the Senate after the chamber approved the DOJ’s 2020 budget.
“I am not hesitating. It’s just that I have lots of work to do pa sa DOJ,” he said.
“I don’t think any lawyer worth his salt would close the possibility of being appointed to such a lofty position,” he said.
“At the proper time perhaps I’ll consider it,” he said.
Victorino, in his nomination letter, described the DOJ chief as someone who “possesses the necessary credentials, professional experience and the motivation to discharge the duties as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”
“I have known Sec. Guevarra to be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence,” Victorino said.
Prior to his appointment as DOJ secretary, Guevarra served as Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs in the Office of the President.
He was part of the Philippine legal team that filed the arbitration case against China at the Hague over Beijing’s incursions in the disputed South China Sea.
He earned his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law and placed second in the 1985 Bar Exams.
Guevarra’s nomination was filed for the vacancy left after Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta was named to the high court’s helm last month.
--With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News