Palace legal adviser quits, moves to BCDABy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Aquino’s chief presidential legal counsel has resigned and has moved to the government-owned and controlled corporation Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).
Eduardo de Mesa confirmed that he resigned effective last Tuesday after a stint of two and a half years. He was appointed BCDA director and assumed the post on Wednesday.
“To go back to private practice,” De Mesa said in a text message when asked about his reason for quitting.
De Mesa replaced Teresita Desierto as BCDA director. He attended his first board meeting last Wednesday. De Mesa said he was not at liberty to say who was taking over his old post.
As chief presidential legal counsel, De Mesa also sat in a committee that vets judges.
One of the first officials to be named to the Aquino Cabinet in July 2010, De Mesa has kept a low profile as presidential legal counsel. One of the rare instances he faced the press was in the aftermath of the Aug. 23, 2010 hostage crisis.
De Mesa was among those who crafted the Executive Order No. 1 creating the Truth Commission. The commission’s job was to hold Arroyo administration accountable for irregularities, but the EO was nullified by the Supreme Court. It was the first legal setback of the Aquino administration.
He and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. reviewed the recommendations of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee on the hostage crisis.
When he resigned in June 2011, Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus also cited his desire to “return to private life.”