DOJ chief is OIC while Duterte in China for 5th visit


President Rodrigo Duterte has designated Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as officer in charge (OIC) while he is in Beijing, China for his fifth official visit there.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, on behalf of the President, signed Special Order No. 916 on Aug. 28 designating Guevarra as OIC from August 28 to September 1.

Guevarra was designated OIC to “ensure continuity of government service.”

As OIC, Guevarra is tasked to “take care of the day-to-day operations and oversee the general administration of the executive department.”

If necessary, Guevarra will also act for and on behalf of the President except on matters that the President is required by the Constitution to act in person.

The special order enjoined all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the government to assist Guevarra in the discharge of his functions.

All acts of Guevarra for and on behalf of the President will be deemed acts of the President unless disapproved or reprobated by the President.

On Wednesday, Duterte also issued a special order designating Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Ong as the government’s Acting Executive Secretary.

Under Special Order No. 915, Ong was designated as Acting Executive Secretary from August 28 to September 1 since Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be accompanying Duterte in China.

Duterte is currently in China to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and witness the signing of several bilateral documents and memorandums of understanding.

Earlier, Duterte vowed to raise the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling rejecting China’s claims on the West Philippine Sea.

He will also tackle the 60-40 sharing deal on the proposed joint exploration for oil and gas in the WPS and the June 9 Recto Bank (Reed Bank) maritime incident, where a Chinese vessel allegedly rammed and abandoned a Philippine fishing boat at sea, and watch the game between Gilas Pilipinas and Italy on August 31 in the 2019 FIBA World Cup at the International Sports and Cultural Arena in Foshan City. (PNA)

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