Bersamin takes post as executive secretary

Retired Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin takes his oath as new executive secretary before President Marcos in Malacañang on Tuesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

(UPDATED) PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has appointed retired Supreme Court chief justice Lucas Bersamin as his new executive secretary, Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday.

Bersamin, 72, a native of Bangued, Abra, took his oath before Marcos in Malacañang on Tuesday and joined the Cabinet meeting on the same day.

“Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has taken his oath of office as executive secretary, before President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.,” Press Secretary Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles said in a statement.

“He began his duties immediately by attending the 9th Cabinet meeting right after swearing in,” she added.

Bersamin's appointment came days after former executive secretary Victor Rodriguez announced his resignation from his post.

As an executive secretary, Bersamin will be referred to as the “Little President” who is mandated to “directly assist the President in the management of affairs of the government as well as to direct the operations of the Executive Office,” according to the Official Gazette.

The Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) is also deemed “unique,” in the sense that it has both line and staff functions.

Its staff function pertains to its duties to the President, while its line function pertains to its management of the Office of the President and its attached agencies.

The OES also performs other duties upon the discretion of the President or as stated by law.

Prior to his new appointment, Bersamin was the chairman of the Government Service Insurance System after being designated by Marcos' predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, in 2020.

He served as the country's top magistrate under the Duterte administration between November 2018 and until his retirement in October 2019.

Bersamin earned his law degree from the University of the East in 1973 and placed ninth in the Bar examinations in the same year.

He served as presiding judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 96 in 1986.

In 2003, Bersamin was appointed associate justice at the Court of Appeals and was promoted to the Supreme Court in 2009.

He bagged the Judicial Excellence Award for Best Decision both in Civil Law and Criminal Law.

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