Office of the President photo

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has appointed retired chief justice Lucas Bersamin as his new executive secretary, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Bersamin took his oath before Marcos Jr. on Tuesday.

“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.

The executive secretary is also called the “little president” because of its power to deal with administrative matters including attesting to presidential issuances.

Bersamin replaced Vic Rodriguez who resigned earlier this month and became the president’s chief of staff.

Cruz-Angeles said Bersamin was chosen over “trust.”

“Well, primarily, it’s a trust basis. Sinasabi ng ating pangulo, he is well-qualified to be the executive secretary having put in so many years in the judiciary. He has the necessary legal background and the ability to deal with the paperwork plus of course, he is trusted and well-qualified for this,” she said.

Bersamin, the 25th Supreme Court chief justice, was chairman of the Government Service Insurance System.

He voted in favor of the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the extension of martial law in Mindanao during the Duterte administration. John Ezekiel J. Hirro