John Castriciones

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John Rualo Castriciones (born 8 January 1962) is a Filipino lawyer, author and government official. As of 1 December 2017, he is the secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, under President Rodrigo Duterte.[1] Prior to holding this role, he was an undersecretary for operations of the [[Department of the Interior and Local Government]], also in Duterte’s cabinet.

Castriciones taught law at the Arellano University, where he received his law degree, and served in the administrations of presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Simeon Aquino III. He is also a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

Early life and education

Castriciones was born on 8 January 1962 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. While studying at the Philippine Military Academy, Castriciones was accused in the 1981 hazing death of fellow cadet Andres Ramos.[2] In July 1982, Castriciones was sentenced to five years of hard labor by a seven-man military court. He served only four years of the sentence after he was pardoned by President Corazon C. Aquino.

Castriciones then continued his studies, taking up political science at the Trinity University of Asia in Quezon City, formerly Trinity College, and graduating magna cum laude. He enrolled at San Beda College and then Arellano University to study law and passed the bar exam in 1990. Castriciones then returned to the Philippine Military Academy to finish his military training, graduating in 1994. In 1998, he received his master's degree in comparative government and international law from Notre Dame Law School in London, England.


Before becoming a government official, Castriciones practiced private law for more than 20 years, beginning in 1993.  Within in this period, he established his own law firm, the Castriciones Legal Consultancy.

During his law practice, Castriciones was a faculty member of the Arellano University School of Law, where he specialized in corporation law, obligations and contracts, sales investment law, public and private international law and civil procedure. For three years, he was also part of the Supreme Court of the Philippines’ Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program as a lecturer. Castriciones began working for the government in 2009, when he became director of the Department of Transportation's Investigation, Security and Law Enforcement Service (ISLES) during the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Aso during Arroyo’s presidency, he was a legal consultant in the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and an assistant spokesman and deputy chairman of Task Force Gabay at Tagapagligtas sa Karagatan of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). He held the same position in the DOTC during President Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s term.

Castriciones was the president of the Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte for President Movement (MRRDPM) during the 2016 Philippine presidential election. Concurrently, he served as vice president of Duterte’s party, PDP–Laban, for Luzon.[3] When Duterte was sworn in as president, Castriciones became undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, as appointed by Duterte.

In February 2018, Castriciones became one of the founders of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, which supports the Duterte government’s campaign for federalism. Castriciones expressed interest to run in the 2019 senatorial election. In October 2018, he said he was backing out of the race and would remain in the DAR as secretary.

Castriciones is also an author of a number of books, among which are Internal Revolution: Political Vengeance and Societal Perdition (2011); A Risen Catholic Christian Soldier (1998); Philippine Military Academy Hazing Case: A General’s Son Dies (1990); and Sagutin Natin (1984).

See also


  1. "Duterte names DILG exec acting agrarian reform chief". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  2. "Philippine Military Academy is under attack". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  3. "Federal party wants Duterte as chairman". The Manila Times. Retrieved 7 August 2019.