Andres Bonifacio College » » ABCollege invites ERC Chairperson Devanadera as Commencement Speaker

Andres Bonifacio College

College Park, Dipolog City, Philippines 7100

by admin on 03 21st, 2018
 ABCollege invites ERC Chairperson Devanadera as Commencement Speaker

ABCollege invites ERC Chairperson Devanadera as Commencement Speaker

With a track record in public service spanning several years, Andres Bonifacio College’s Guest of Honor on its 72nd Commencement Exercises Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera exudes excellence, intelligence, industry, and integrity.

Born on April 5, 1950, and raised in Sampaloc, Quezon, Atty. Devanadera holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Accounting degree from then St. Paul College now St. Paul University. Her high school and college days at St. Paul’s were amply spent in civic work as she was an active officer of the school’s Student Catholic Action (SCA). Her dedication to public service grew more after entering law school where she closely worked with the indigenous peoples of Kalinga, Apayao. In 1976, she earned her Bachelor of Laws degree from Ateneo de Manila University. After a year, she was admitted to the Philippine Bar. She was also admitted to the American Bar in the State of New York, the U.S.A. in 1986.

Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera, ERC Chairperson/CEO

Responding to the greater call for public service, she ran and was elected as Mayor of the Municipality of Sampaloc in 1988, the first woman to do so. Under her administration, Sampaloc clinched various prestigious awards such as the “Galing Pook” Award given by the Ford Foundation for implementing a community-based counter-insurgency program. Sampaloc was also hailed as the Cleanest and Greenest Municipality for three straight years.   During her stint as Mayor, she concurrently held the position of National President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), the national organization for all municipal mayors of the country from 1995-1998. She was the first woman National President of the League. As National President, she spearheaded the initial implementation of local autonomy as provided under the Local Government Code and helped cultivate a standard of excellence in local governance by emphasizing and recognizing best practices among LGUs. After her term as mayor, she immersed herself in the practice of law serving in various capacities as a lecturer in top notch law schools, an independent consultant and a technical adviser to various government agencies and instrumentalities. From April 2003-August 2004, she was the Undersecretary for Legal and Legislative Affairs of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). In September of the same year,   she was appointed as the first woman Government Corporate Council of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC), the principal law office of government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). Under her tenure, the OGCC attained zero backlogs on contact reviews and rendition of opinions for more than 600 GOCCs, the official OGCC website was created and promulgated the first-ever Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on the formal operation of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) forum for GOCCs. She successfully prosecuted cases for the Manila International Airport Authority and the Maynilad Water Services Inc. She also supervised the latter company’s re-privatization, a deal which was recognized by the Asian Development Bank as the Best Country Deal.

Atty. Devanadera further made her mark in history when in March 2007 she was chosen as the country’s first woman Solicitor General. As head of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), she represented and defended as counsel the Republic of the Philippines and its government departments and agencies. By personally appearing before the Supreme Court and other foreign courts in the USA, Switzerland, Singapore, and Japan, she successfully pursued the Marcos’ wealth and some properties in favor of the Philippine Government. She also initiated reforms in the systems and organizational structure of the OSG paving the way for the office’s ISO certification. When then-department secretary Raul Gonzalez was hospitalized for a bleeding stomach ulcer and later had a kidney transplant, she served as Acting Secretary of Justice in a concurrent capacity from September to November 2007.

On June 15, 2009, Atty. Devanadera assumed office as the first woman and 50th Secretary of the Department of Justice.  As Secretary of Justice, she initiated material reforms touching the organization and its systems to further improve work culture consistent with excellence.  During her administration as Secretary of Justice, she successfully handled the high-profile case on the Maguindanao Massacre and was able to indict and jail 200 people responsible for the death of 58 individuals mostly women and journalists. To oversee for herself the arrest of the principal suspect Mayor Datu Andal “Unsay” Ampatuan, Jr., Sec. Devanadera personally came to Mindanao. She held that post until March 9, 2010, after which she engaged in the general practice of law. In December 2017, she was appointed anew by the executive branch as Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), a capacity which she serves up to the present.

Widely considered as a woman of many firsts, a trailblazer who was able to breach a lot of “glass ceilings” per se, she sees herself as a wife, mother and friend first, leader second and maintains that her best achievement is to be the wife of former DOLE Undersecretary Noriel Devanadera and a mother to Noel Angelo, Anna Noreen, and Nicolas Andre who were able to carve their own successful journeys as Municipal Mayor of Sampaloc, Quezon, DOJ Prosecutor and a Masters in Business Administration graduate from the University of Navarra, Barcelona, Spain, respectively. (Kevin James Limbaga)

(The information contained herein is based on the curriculum vitae shared to the College by Atty. Devanadera and Maria Rosa “Bing” Nieva Carrion’s Coffee Table Book entitled “The Department of Justice: Its Historic Past and Pathfinding Present.”)

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