ATTY. MENARDO I. GUEVARRA
ATTY. MENARDO I. GUEVARRA, sixty-four (64) years old, took his oath of office and assumed his position as SENIOR DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY (SDES), Office of the President, on 30 June 2016. As SDES, Atty. Guevarra directly assisted the Executive Secretary and, indirectly, the President in the management of the affairs of the Government. In addition to his designation as representative of the Office of the President (OP) to the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) Board of Trustees, Atty. Guevarra also served as OP oversight representative to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Board of Directors, and as representative of the Executive Secretary in various NEDA cabinet-level committees, and in the Cabinet Cluster on Justice, Security, and Peace, the Anti-Terrorism Council, the Strategic Trade Management Committee, and the National Coast Watch Council.
Prior to his current appointment, Atty. Guevarra was Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs (DESLA) at the Office of the President. As DESLA, Atty. Guevarra reviewed all legal matters falling within the purview of the Office of the President, including appeals from certain quasi-judicial agencies of the government, enrolled congressional bills for presidential action, investigation and resolution of administrative and disciplinary cases involving presidential appointees and high-ranking local government officials, and all executive issuances and presidential actions on matters of general government administration.
Atty. Guevarra was a Senior Associate at a major law office in Makati when he and several other lawyers decided to form a new partnership in 1990. (Their law firm would later be known as MEDIALDEA ATA BELLO GUEVARRA & SUAREZ.) Since then, Atty. Guevarra had taken on and supervised more than a thousand cases involving contract disputes, family and property relations, intra-corporate controversies, tax appeals, criminal actions, and legal representation in varous regulatory agencies. He was also an accredited arbitrator of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and an active faculty member of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law where he had taught a broad range of subjects.
Atty. Guevarra graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, major in Political Science, in 1974. He was immediately recruited by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and was sent on scholarship to the University of the Philippines for graduate studies in Economics. He worked as a staff economist at NEDA until 1983, then transferred to the Central Bank’s Department of Economic Research to work as Bank Economist. While working full-time in these government institutions, he took up Law in the evening at the Ateneo School of Law in Makati. He finished the course (Second Honors) in 1985 and went on to lead his class in the Bar Examinations, placing second overall among 700 successful examinees. Atty. Guevarra thereafter joined the technical staff of the 1986 Constitutional Commission which drafted the 1987 Philippine Constitution.
Atty. Guevarra was a member of the Philippine legal team in the arbitration case concerning the West Philippine Sea at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague. For a brief period, Atty. Guevarra sat as an ex-officio Member of the Judicial and Bar Council. In February 2016, he was appointed as a Commissioner of the newly created Philippine Competition Commission, a quasi-judicial and anti-trust agency attached to the Office of the President, and he served therein until his appointment as SDES at the OP.
On 05 April 2018, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte appointed Atty. Guevarra as Secretary of Justice.