Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has been nominated for the post of Supreme Court associate justice, which was left vacant following the promotion of Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta as the 26th Chief Justice on Oct. 23.
In a Nov. 20, 2019 endorsement letter filed with the Judicial and Bar Council, retired Sandiganbayan Justice and former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Raoul Victorino nominated Guevarra for the post at the 15-member bench.
Victorino, who once served as a member of the JBC, said it was high time Guevarra joined the Supreme Court because he was a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence.
“In my decade number of public service until today, I have known the incumbent DOJ Secretary Guevarra as a dedicated public servant with an unblemished record,” Victorino said.
"I believe that he possesses the necessary credentials, professional experience and the motivation to discharge the duties as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. I have known Secretary Guevarra to be a person of proven competence, integrity, probity and independence and his sense of patriotism through his socio-civic engagements."
Victorino said Guevarra was qualified for the post on the basis of his good track record in government service, including his being second honor at the Ateneo College of Law and second placer in the 1985 Bar examinations.
"Having in mind the best interest of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary, I highly recommend and nominate Secretary Menardo Guevarra as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court," Victorino said.
Victorino said Guevarra’s sterling performance as Justice secretary and his experience in Malacañang as Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs had proven his worth for the highest court of the land.
When sought for his comment on Victorino’s nomination, Guevarra said he had not yet thought about it, but he was not shutting his door from being nominated as a magistrate of the Supreme Court.
“Thank you for the endorsement. I will think about it very, very seriously, but I still have a lot of work to do at the DOJ,” Guevarra said.
“I am not hesitating, it's just that I have lots of things to do pa at the DOJ. So I'll think about it. I have not really thought about it because I am busy with the work at the DOJ. But at a proper time, I will consider it.”
Guevarra is 65 years old. He is a native of Malhacan, Meycauayan, Bulacan, and graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University as magna cum laude after finishing his Political Science degree in 1974. Afterward, he finished his master's degree in Economics at University of the Philippines in 1977.
He is an ex-officio member of the JBC but is expected to inhibit himself from the vetting process once he accepts the nomination.