Enrile to become Palace chief legal counsel; Guevarra, Faustino also tapped

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile--who in recent years has been memed by social media for being an "immortal"--will make his return to public service under the incoming Marcos administration.

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (Malacañang photo)

This, after the 98-year-old was named presidential legal counsel-designate by President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Press Secretary-designate lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a statement Friday, June 17.

"Enrile, a staunch supporter of President-elect Marcos and Vice President-elect Inday Sara Duterte during the 2022 elections, reaffirmed his commitment to serve the country and ensure the success of the incoming Marcos administration," the statement read.

"I will devote my time and knowledge for the republic and for BBM because I want him to succeed," Enrile was quoted as saying by Cruz-Angeles.

A legal luminary, Enrile served as the defense minister, finance secretary, justice secretary of Marcos Jr.'s father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. The elder Marcos was president from 1965 to 1986.

The younger generation might be more familiar with the "invincible" Enrile through his memes, which hilariously depicts him as surviving practically all the challenges that have been faced by humankind in the past century.

Also announced by Cruz-Angeles Friday were the designations outgoing Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra as solicitor general and retired General Jose Faustino Jr., as senior undersecretary and officer-in-charge of the Department of National Defense (DND).

Guevarra accepted his nomination as solicitor general-designate during his meeting with Marcos Jr. on Thursday, Cruz-Angeles said.

Before being appointed as ad interim justice secretary in 2018, Guevarra was the Deputy Executive Secretary of incumbent President Duterte.

Rounding up Marcos's latest nominees is Faustino, who served as the 56th chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) until his mandatory retirement last Nov. 12, 2021.

According to Cruz-Angeles, Faustino and incoming National Security Adviser, Retired UP Prof. Clarita Carlos also met with Marcos Jr. on Thursday.

Faustino will become the full-fledged DND secretary on Nov. 13, 2022, in compliance with the one-year ban on the appointment of retired military officers under Republic Act (RA) 6975.

“Faustino's situation was similar to current Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año's case, whom President Duterte designated as officer-in-charge but later assumed the secretary position once the appointment ban lapsed," the incoming press secretary explained.