Aguirre on exit as justice chief: ‘We made DOJ better’

MANILA Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Friday expressed gratitude to the Department of Justice (DOJ) after serving the agency for almost two years.

Thankful for the opportunity to have served our countrymen as the steward of your DOJ. As I leave the Department of Justice, I find comfort in the thought that, by our collective efforts, we have improved the DOJ in key areas. We have achieved this by hard work and indomitable faith in the protection, providence and guidance of the Almighty, Aguirre said in a statement, which came day after President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced his resignation.

Aguirre recognized the efforts of DOJ officials as well as its attached agencies for welcoming him with open arms and for throwing all their support and cooperation.

"The DOJ is better not because of me but because everybody committed heart, body and soul to march towards a single cadence, Aguirre said.

"I salute the good men and women of the DOJ for showing me how it is to serve selflessly in government. You have provided me the inspiration to lead by walking beside me, never behind me nor ahead of me, from Day One. I will cherish the bonds formed, the friendships made and the memories we shared, he noted.

Aguirre also took the occasion to express gratitude to Duterte "for the trust and the confidence he reposed on me as his first Secretary of Justice".

I am not sad that it has ended, rather I am thankful that it happened. I am eternally grateful to all. In our own humble way, we have delivered on our promise to make the DOJ better than when we found it, he said.

Aguirre encouraged justice employees to welcome newly appointed Justice chief Menardo Guevarra.

"Moving forward, I humbly ask everyone to welcome with the same degree of enthusiasm and cooperation, more if need be, the team of incoming Secretary Menard Guevarra, there is only one DOJ, let us love and serve it to the best of our abilities, Aguirre said.

Aguirre was seen on Friday at the justice department, where he attended a mass with DOJ employees.

Following Aguirre's resignation, Duterte appointed Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra to lead the agency, where he took his oath of office before him at Malacanang on Thursday.

Guevarra said he would first wind up his tasks as Senior Deputy Executive Secretary at the Office of the President before reporting for work at the DOJ.

The President told me to bring back the DOJ's dignified image, Guevarra said.

The President seldom sees me, yet he entrusts such a sensitive position to me. I'm overwhelmed with such confidence, he added.

Guevarra earned his bachelor of laws from the Ateneo de Manila University and placed second in the 1985 Bar examinations.

He was in active private practice and a faculty member at the Ateneo School of Law until April 2015. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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