Menardo Guevarra

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Menardo Guevarra
Menardo Guevarra 2018.jpg
59th Secretary of Justice
Assumed office
April 5, 2018
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Preceded byVitaliano Aguirre II
Deputy Executive Secretary
In office
June 30, 2016 – April 4, 2018
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Succeeded byMichael P. Ong
In office
May 27, 2015 – January 31, 2016
PresidentBenigno Aquino III
Preceded byMichael G. Aguinaldo
Commissioner of the Philippine Competition Commission
In office
February 1, 2016 – June 29, 2016
PresidentBenigno Aquino III
Personal details
Menardo Ilasco Guevarra

(1954-05-23) May 23, 1954 (age 65)
Meycauayan, Bulacan, Philippines
Alma materAteneo de Manila University (A.B. PolSci) & (L.L.B.)
University of the Philippines Diliman (M.Econ.)
ProfessionLawyer, Professor, Civil Servant

Menardo "Boy" Ilasco Guevarra (born May 23, 1954)[1] is a Filipino lawyer and public servant who is the 59th Secretary of Justice of the Philippines. He previously served as Deputy Executive Secretary under the Rodrigo Duterte and Benigno Aquino III presidential administrations. Prior to his government stint, he was involved in private litigation practice as a founding partner of the Medialdea Ata Bello Guevarra & Suarez law firm since 1990. He was also an active faculty member at his alma mater Ateneo de Manila University where he graduated in 1974.[2][3] Guevarra's appointment to the Justice portfolio was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on May 30, 2018.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Guevarra was born on May 23, 1954 in Malhacan, Meycauayan, Bulacan.[1][5] He attended Meycauayan College, formerly Meycauayan Institute, and completed his secondary education in 1970.[6][7] After high school, Guevarra moved to Manila to study at Ateneo de Manila University where he finished his Political Science degree and graduated magna cum laude in 1974.[2] He then enrolled at the University of the Philippines Diliman and completed his Masters in Economics in 1977.[8][3]

Guevarra then served as a staff economist at the National Economic and Development Authority and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas while pursuing his law degree at the Ateneo Law School. He obtained his LL.B. degree in 1985, graduating with Second Honors, and placed second in the Philippine Bar Examination in the same year.[2][8] He also underwent an intensive practical training in Maritime and Admiralty law at the Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association (Bermuda) Limited in London, U.K. in 1999.[3]


Guevarra first worked as an economist after finishing his Masters in Economics in 1977. He joined the National Economic and Development Authority in 1977 and served as a staff economist until 1983. He was then hired by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas as a bank economist under its Department of Economic Research from 1983 to 1986.[3] Guevarra's first legal job was as part of the technical staff of the Philippine Constitutional Commission of 1986 hired by the government of President Corazon Aquino to draft the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines.[8][2]

Guevarra started his private law practice as an associate of the Ponce Enrile Cayetano Bautista Picazo & Reyes (PECABAR) Law Offices in Makati in 1987. In 1990, he formed his own law partnership firm based in Ortigas Center which would later be known as the Medialdea Ata Bello Guevarra & Suarez (MABGS) law offices, now simply Medialdea Bello Suarez (MBS).[3] Since 1990, Guevarra had also been teaching at his alma mater Ateneo de Manila University as a member of the Ateneo Law School faculty. He taught a broad range of subjects, including Property, Civil Procedure and Evidence.[2]

Guevarra's work as a private lawyer for more than thirty years involved thousands of cases concerning contract disputes, family and property relations, intra-corporate controversies, tax appeals, criminal actions, and legal representation in various regulatory agencies.[2] His clients included well-known personalities such as Sharon Cuneta and Rodrigo Duterte.[9] While teaching at the Ateneo Law School, he was also a lecturer in the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. He also served as Accredited Arbitraror of the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, the arbitration arm of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.[3]

Guevarra returned to government service in September 2010 when he was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III to the five-member Philippine Truth Commission formed to investigate the alleged corruption scandals of the previous Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration.[10] The commission headed by former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. was abolished in 2011 after the Supreme Court declared it as unconstitutional.[11] Guevarra then assumed the position of Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs under Aquino's Executive Secretary and his Ateneo Law School classmate Paquito Ochoa Jr. in May 2015. He also served briefly as a commissioner of the Philippine Competition Commission in February 2016 until the end of Aquino's term in June 2016.[1][8][2]

As an Aquino appointee, Guevarra was also involved in the Philippines v. China arbitration case at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands as a member of the Philippine legal team.[2] He also sat briefly as an ex-officio member of the Judicial and Bar Council. On June 30, 2016, upon the assumption of Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines, Guevarra returned to the Deputy Executive Secretary portfolio under his former law partner Salvador Medialdea.[2] Concurrent to his executive department service, he also served in the Board of Trustees of the Development Academy of the Philippines and as representative of the Office of the President in the Board of Directors of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.[2]

Guevarra was appointed as ad interim Justice Secretary on April 5, 2018 replacing Vitaliano Aguirre II. In a speech before the employees of the Department of Justice on his first day at the department on April 16, 2018, Guevarra said it was his personal mission to "restore the dignified and respectable image" of the Justice department, after it was hounded by controversial cases under his predecessor.[12] His appointment was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments in May 2018.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Ranada, P. (6 April 2018). "Who is new justice chief Menardo Guevarra?". Rappler. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Secretary's Profile". Department of Justice (Philippines). Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Partners". MBS Law. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b Ager, M. (30 May 2018). "CA confirms Guevarra's ad interim appointment as justice secretary". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  5. ^ "City Resolution No. 2018-050" (PDF). City Government of Meycauayan. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Tubong Bulacan eh! Linabelle Villarica hails Guevarra's appointment as DOJ chief". Politiko. 23 June 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  7. ^ "House Resolution No. 2026" (PDF). House of Representatives of the Philippines. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d "Duterte's next secretary of justice?". GMA News. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Acting 'little President' is a celebrity lawyer too". Politiko. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  10. ^ Sisante, J. (9 September 2010). "Composition of truth body is finally complete". GMA News. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  11. ^ Santos, R. (30 July 2016). "TIMELINE: The short-lived 2010 Truth Commission". Rappler. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  12. ^ Patag, K.J. (16 April 2018). "Guevarra: I will restore DOJ's dignified image". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Vitaliano Aguirre II
Secretary of Justice
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Carlos Dominguez III
as Secretary of Finance
Order of Precedence of the Philippines
as Secretary of Justice
Succeeded by
William Dar
as Secretary of Agriculture