BONTOC, Mountain Province – Deputy Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Joseph B. Sagandoy explained to the people and officialdom of the province the scope of work of the Office of the Presidential Chief Legal Counsel for their information and appreciation.
In his message during the 56th founding anniversary of the province and 16th Lang-ay festival main program, he underscored that he never planned or expected to work in Malacañang as he decided early in his career as a lawyer that he will always remain in private law practice.
He joined a law firm popularly known as PECABAR, a law office founded by Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, together with other partners that included the late Senator Rene Cayetano, where he practiced for more than 20 years, starting as a junior associate until he became a senior partner and also the firm’s managing partner.
Sagandoy, who hails from Bontoc, narrated that he received a phone call from Enrile a few days before the inauguration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and he answered his call and this is what he said, “Joseph, I was appointed by President Bongbong Marcos as his chief Presidential Legal Counsel, and I want you to be my deputy.”
He claimed that he was surprised since he never applied for any position in government but who could say no to a living legend as working for Enrile is a rare privilege because of his vast knowledge and experience as a public official, thus, he accepted his officer and thanked him for his confidence in him.
The Deputy Presidential Legal Counsel disclosed that the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel is one of the advisory offices under the Office of the President. Its main function is to provide legal advice to the President on all matters that he refers to the office. Some of these include reviewing international agreements, contracts and other documents that need to be signed by the President.
Sagandoy added that their office reviews bills passed by Congress and provides its recommendation on whether the President should veto or approve the proposed legislation.
Further, the said office also reviews proposed presidential issuances like executive orders aside from studying and providing its opinion on any matter that the President refers to them, in short, the office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel is the President’s lawyer.
“When people look at the President, what they usually see are only the awesome powers and privileges that come with this office. But having worked in Malacañang for almost one year now, I have seen the difficult job and immense responsibilities of the President. Hundreds of documents go to his office every day. His official meetings and ceremonial functions are endless. We are very fortunate that our President, Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., is very hardworking. He takes his responsibilities very seriously. He has the sharpness of mind that is needed for a leader to understand the many problems of our country and find solutions. He has a big heart for the people and the determination to improve their living condition,” Sagandoy stressed.
In the less than one year that he served in office, the deputy Palace aide stipulated that the President has accomplished so many things already and he will be present in his upcoming State of the Nation Address in July.