Former chief justice Lucas Bersamin, 72, replaces Victor Rodriguez, the shortest serving executive secretary in recent years
MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed former chief justice Lucas Bersamin as his next executive secretary, more than a week after the embattled Victor Rodriguez resigned from this post.
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles confirmed Bersamin’s appointment on Tuesday, September 27, saying Bersamin had taken his oath before Marcos earlier in the day prior to attending the ninth Cabinet meeting.
Bersamin, who retired from the SC in October 2019, turns 73 next month.
Today we administered the oath of Former Chief Justice Lucas Purugganan Bersamin as the acting Executive Secretary of our administration. https://t.co/wxnRfxhuru
— Bongbong Marcos (@bongbongmarcos) September 27, 2022
Rodriguez served as executive secretary for less than three months, making him the shortest serving executive secretary in recent years. Rodriguez is now Marcos’ chief of staff.
Before Malacañang confirmed Rodriguez’ resignation, word was going around that the President was looking for a new executive secretary, and that a former Supreme Court justice was among those being eyed.
Bersamin’s 10-year stint in the High Court had been marked by controversial ponencias and concurring votes, including the acquittal of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the bail grant to plunder defendant Juan Ponce Enrile, now Marcos’ chief legal adviser.
Bersamin’s bail grant favoring Enrile, in particular, had been based on humanitarian considerations because of old age and was later cited by the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan in keeping Imelda Marcos free despite conviction for seven counts of graft.
He was also one of the nine Supreme Court justices who voted to allow a hero’s burial for the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos in 2016.
Before leaving the SC, Bersamin said he wanted to be remembered as a “healing chief justice,” a reference to the controversial quo warranto case against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that had rocked the judiciary. (READ: Chief Justice Bersamin’s philosophy: Restraint in favor of government)
Appointed to the Court by Arroyo in 2009, Bersamin came from the Court of Appeals, and before that, was a judge at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
He earned his law degree from the University of the East and joined the bar after taking the 9th spot in the 1973 Bar Examinations. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1968. – Rappler.com