By Jeffrey Damicog
Outgoing Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II today expressed his gratitude to President Duterte for the opportunity to work for him in government.
“I sincerely thank our beloved President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for the trust and the confidence he reposed on me as his first Secretary of Justice,” Aguirre said in a statement.
“I am equally thankful for the opportunity to have served our countrymen as the steward of your DOJ (Department of Justice),” added Aguirre who started work as justice secretary on July 1, 2016.
Aguirre was at the DOJ yesterday to attend mass and pack up his belongings from his office.
Though he did not state the reason for his resignation, Aguirre said he was glad he handed his resignation letter to the Duterte who is his law school classmate at the San Beda College and fraternity brother at the Lex Talionis.
“I am not sad that it has ended, rather I am thankful that it happened. I am eternally grateful to all!” Aguirre stated.
On the other hand, Aguirre urged DOJ officials and personnel to welcome Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra whom Duterte appointed as new as Justice Secretary.
“Moving forward, I humbly ask everyone to welcome with the same degree of enthusiasm and cooperation, more if need be, the team of incoming Secretary Menard Guevarra,” he said.
Aguirre also thanked the undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and the other officials of the DOJ and its attached agencies for having welcomed him.
“I salute the good men and women of the DOJ for showing me how it is to serve selflessly in government. You have provided me the inspiration to lead by walking beside me, never behind me nor ahead of me, from Day One,” he said.
“I will cherish the bonds formed, the friendships made and the memories we shared,” he added.
Aguirre said he will leave knowing there have been improvements at the DOJ in key areas.
“In our own humble way, we have delivered on our promise to make the DOJ better than when we found it,” he said.