Aquino names classmate as chief legal counsel


MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III has named his Ateneo classmate Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa as chief presidential legal counsel.

This was announced by Malacañang on Thursday, January 10, although various sources have already reported about his impending appointment.

A senior partner at the Caguioa & Gatmaytan law firm, Caguioa was a classmate of the President's at the Ateneo from grade school to college, where both finished economics.

Caguioa took up law and passed the bar in 1986.

Lawyer Ernesto Francisco Jr earlier asked the Palace to reconsider plans to appoint Caguioa because the latter's law firm is the current counsel of Narra Nickel Mining and Development Corp., Tesoro Mining and Development, Inc. and McArthur Mining, Inc. in a pending court case in which the firms have questioned an order issued against them by the Office of the President.

Such presidential order, which revoked the companies' Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements, was issued under the previous Arroyo administration, according to Francisco.

Caguioa replaces Eduardo de Mesa who is now a member of the board of the Bases Conversion Development Authority.

The other Aquino classmates in the administration are Jose Rene Almendras, Secretary to the Cabinet, and Pagcor chair Cristino Naguiat Jr. (Read: Aquino's inner circle) - Rappler.com