Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (File photo)

MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday urged officials of agencies and offices under the Department of Justice (DOJ) to consult him before making potentially controversial decisions.

This, after some officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), an agency under the DOJ, received criticism for allowing a television interview with convicted retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan.

"I would rather that BuCor consult the DOJ, as its mother agency, on matters of public interest that may give rise to legal questions or involve policy considerations. As you all probably know, the office of the justice secretary is not hard to access," Guevarra told reporters.

DOJ Undersecretary Deo Marco, who is in charge of the Bucor, said prison officials have since produced documents required by the DOJ for the department’s review in looking at whether the official procedure was followed in allowing Palparan to be interviewed by SMNI.

"It is still with our technical division for review. They (Bucor) attached the missing documents that I required and now include timelines so it can be studied by the DOJ," Marco said.

Palparan, a former congressman, was convicted by a court in Bulacan in 2018 of kidnapping student activists Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan of the University of the Philippines. (PNA)