By Jeffrey Damicog
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has vowed to make the Department of Justice (DOJ) a beacon of hope for the people seeking justice.
“My aim in the past six months and in the months ahead has been and will still be to stoke the embers of that spark in each of you that we may collectively rekindle in our people the hope that justice in their lifetime and in ours, is neither illusory nor illusive, but real and within reach,” he told DOJ officials and personnel on the occasion of the department’s 121st founding anniversary yesterday (Sept. 26).
“We are touted as guardians of the rule of law. And that, we shall strive hard to be – through hard work and dedication, irrespective of the sacrifices and personal costs it demands from us,” he said during his speech.
When he got appointed as secretary back in April, Guevarra admitted that he suspected that the DOJ was “eroding from the inside.”
“That suspicion proved correct, literally and figuratively. Early on, I observed and witnessed the demoralization from within of those who comprise this department,” he cited.
Because of this, the secretary said that he vowed “not to allow such demoralization to fester much longer, otherwise we risk neglecting our public in bad need of our service.”
Guevarra explained that this is the reason why the team he formed to help him steer the DOJ is both “youthful in spirit and mature in outlook.”
“Given the herculean task before us, the need for young blood to reinvigorate our energies and for old souls to steadily guide us in restoring the dignity and integrity of this Department was not lost on me,” he said.
“I, therefore, urge each of you – our team of undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, and the permanent officers and staff of this department as well as our attached agencies – not only to work with each other but to fully engage and participate in the process of re-envisioning our department’s reason for being: that of ensuring justice for all without fear or favor,” Guevarra urged.
Despite the changing of leadership in government, the Secretary also asked DOJ officials and personnel never let the fire of idealism be extinguished and that “the very spark that led you to join this department in the hopes of giving justice to those whom it is due – especially to the downtrodden and the least privileged of our brethren.”