SWORN IN. Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administers the oath of office of former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin in Malacañang on Tuesday (Sept. 27, 2022). Bersamin replaced Victor Rodriguez who is currently serving as Presidential Chief of Staff. (PTV photo)

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has designated retired chief justice Lucas Bersamin as the new Executive Secretary, Malacañang announced Tuesday.

Marcos administered Bersamin’s oath of office before the holding of the 9th Cabinet meeting at Malacañan Palace in Manila, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a press statement.

“Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has taken his oath of office as Executive Secretary, before President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. He began his duties immediately by attending the 9th Cabinet meeting right after swearing in,” Cruz-Angeles said.

Bersamin replaced resigned Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez who is currently serving as Presidential Chief of Staff.

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 stint, Bersamin served as chairperson of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) under the leadership of Marcos’ predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte.

Bersamin was named as the country’s top magistrate in November 2018 and retired from the judiciary in October 2019.

A native of Abra, Bersamin finished his law degree at 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 associated 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. (PNA)

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