Agnes Devanadera

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Agnes Devanadera
Agnesdev.jpg
Secretary of Justice
In office
2009–2010
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Preceded by Raul M. Gonzalez
Succeeded by Alberto Agra (acting), Leila de Lima (official)
Solicitor General of the Philippines
In office
March 2, 2007 – 2009
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Preceded by Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura
Succeeded by Alberto Agra
Mayor of Sampaloc, Quezon
In office
1988–1997
Personal details
Nationality Filipino
Profession Politician
Religion Roman Catholicism

Agnes Devanadera (former Government Corporate Counsel), is the 41st and first woman Philippine Solicitor General[1](with office at 134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines) or Attorney General duly appointed on February 22, 2007 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (having succeeded Supreme Court of the Philippines Associate Justice Antonio Nachura) assumed office on March 2, 2007.[2] Devanadera is a candidate for the position of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (to be vacated by Ruben T. Reyes' retirement on January 2, 2009).[3][4]

Devanadera, St. Paul University Manila

President Arroyo appointed Solicitor General Devanadera DOJ officer-in-charge on September 1, 2007, and as acting secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 5, 2007 to temporarily assist Raul Gonzalez, 75, who was hospitalized for bleeding stomach ulcer and later he had kidney transplant.[5][6] Alberto Agra rsucceeded her as Government Corporate Counsel, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).[7] She is an Ateneo de Manila Law School alumnus, and student of her mentor, Dr. Hernando Perez, former Secretary of Justice.[8]

Legal controversy[edit]

Devanadera and Antonio Nachura contested the position of associate justice, vacated by Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban. Devanadera's name, however, was deleted in the final list of nominees submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council to the President because of pending graft / regular administrative cases against her (Sec. 5.1, JBC-009 Rule)[9] Governor Luis Singson filed versus Devanadera and others before the Office of the Ombudsman of the Philippines criminal cases (Anti-Plunder Act in relation to Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act involving the Poro Point Special Economic and Freeport Zone). As government corporate counsel and board of trustee of the Manila Water (Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System), she was also sued regarding MWSS board resolution dated July 29, 2004.[10]

Disbarment case[edit]

The 8-page Supreme Court judgment of Conchita Carpio-Morales, on July 4, 2008, dismissed the unverified letter-complaint of "Concerned Citizens" which charged Agnes VST Devanadera, Rolando Faller and Santiago Varela of engaging "directly or indirectly in partisan political activities" in the last elections.[11]

Career, Timeline[edit]

  • Devanadera was mayor of Sampaloc, Quezon, from 1988 to 1997.
  • She was president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines during the term of President Fidel Ramos. Devanadera contributed to PIRMA's (People's Initiative for Reform, Modernization and Action) gathering of signatures for constitutional change to let Ramos seek reelection and lift the term limits of local officials.
  • She was executive director of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats from June 1998 to August 2000.
  • She was appointed undersecretary for legal and legislative affairs, Department of the Interior and Local Government (Philippines) from April 1, 2003, to August 31, 2004.
  • Devanadera is a protégé of former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez, (who like her father, is resident of Batangas).[12]
  • She worked as Perez' partner in Balgos and Perez law office, 1976 to 1987.
  • Devanadera became a senior partner of the Libarios, Jalandoni, Devanadera and Dimayuga law firm; she handled cases against former Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez (a.k.a. Mario Crespo). In 2002, Jimenez charged that Devanadera went to his house to extort money. She contradicted the accusation by alleging that she politically contributed to Jimenez' wife, Aleli Panascola's 2001 election campaign as mayor of Mauban, Quezon. Devanadera was appointed counsel of former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez who was held by the Ombudsman liable for graft and extortion regarding Manila Rep. Mark Jimenez's claim that Perez extorted $2 million from him. She successfully had Jimenez deported to the United States for tax evasion trial.[13]
  • She was appointed Department of Justice's (DoJ) undersecretary under Justice Secretary Simeon A. Datumanong[14]
  • On September 1, 2004, Devanadera officially assumed office as Government Corporate Counsel[15]
  • On September 29, 2005, Devanadera ordered the office of assistant government corporate counsel Efren Gonzales locked while he attended the Senate hearing on the North Rail project (regarding EO 464 controversy).
  • President Arroyo appointed Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera DOJ officer-in-charge on September 1, 2007 and as acting secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 5, 2007 to temporarily assist Raul Gonzalez, 75, who was hospitalized for bleeding stomach ulcer and later had kidney transplant.[5][16]
  • Devanadera (in the 7-hour oral argument in the Supreme Court of the Philippines Hello Garci scandal), when asked by an Associate Justice how she would prefer to be addressed, since she was solicitor general and acting Secretary of Justice, she replied: “I would rather that I be there with you.” Devanadera pointing to the seat beside Chief Justice Reynato Puno, categorically admitting her quest to be Supreme Court of the Philippines Associate Justice.[17]
  • Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran challenged her appointment as acting Justice Chief voicing his doubts "whether she would pursue the resolution of cases of extra-judicial killings and corruption in the country." Devanadera, per filed motion for reconsideration in the Supreme Court, blocked Beltran's release from incarceration due to the Rebellion case.[18]

As Solicitor General[edit]

  • Devanadera graced the OSG 1st Painting Exhibit on October 24, 2007, collection of 46 paintings[19]
  • She successfully convinced the United States Department of Justice and the US Solicitor General to file a brief for the United States as amicus curiae in the case of $35 million deposited account of Arelma (forfeiture case before the Sandiganbayan on Philippine claim)[20]
  • Devanadera won for the Government in the MILK CODE case; the 53-page decision by Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez upheld the validity of DOH Administrative Order No. 2006-0012 or the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) dated May 12, 2006.[21]
  • Devanadera graced the Investiture Rites of Dr. Hernando B. Perez as the 2nd president of the University of Batangas (UB) on August 15, 2007 at the University of Batangas, Batangas City. Particularly, SG Devanadera was among those who read the citation for Dr. Perez. She was an Ateneo de Manila Law School alumni, and student of her mentor, Dr. Hernando Perez.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Eduardo Nachura
Solicitor General
2007–2009
Succeeded by
---
Preceded by
Raul M. Gonzalez
Philippine Justice Secretary
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Alberto Agra