Newly-appointed Justice Secretary Benjamin Caguioa on Wednesday toured the department left by Leila de Lima, who had resigned to run for senator in the 2016 elections.
“I think the instruction [from Malacanang]remains the same. Do the job. And I want to do it professionally,” Caguioa told Justice reporters.
The new secretary of the Department of Justice is expected to resolve in the remaining eight months of the Aquino administration criminal charges against leaders of the influential Iglesia ni Cristo over alleged abduction of INC ministers and against Moro Islamic Liberation Front commanders and fighters tagged in the Mamasapano encounter last January.
Caguioa met undersecretaries and heads of offices of the department, including Prosecutor General Claro Arellano and National Bureau of Investigation Director Virgilio Mendez.
“Let’s wait and see first. I think it’s too early [to give an assessment of what the department needs], so give me time to find out. Get my feet wet and then I will engage you after that,” he told the undersecretaries and office heads.
Caguioa visited the press offices housed in the DOJ: the Justice Reporters Organization or Juror and the Justice and Court Reporters Association or Jucra.
His predecessor, meanwhile, is busy packing “confidential” and other documents from the department, ordering her driver and bodyguard to load them onto her Toyota Fortuner.
According to a well-placed source of The Manila Times, some of the documents pertain to the Mamasapano incident of January this year where 44 elite police commandos were killed by Muslim separatist rebels.
The source pointed out that de Lima could no longer bring out any documents from the DOJ because these are public documents owned by the government and she is considered a private citizen as of Monday, the effectivity of her resignation.