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Aguirre rejects resignation calls: ‘I serve at President’s pleasure’

/ 03:49 PM August 29, 2017
Vitaliano Aguirre II

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II (File photo JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday turned down calls for his resignation, saying he would stay for as long as he enjoys the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte.

On Tuesday, student leaders and Fr. Robert Reyes urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to refrain from handling the case of 17-year old Kian Delos Santos.

READ: Student leaders formally seek Aguirre inhibition from Kian case

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Reyes, together with youth leaders sought the transfer of preliminary investigation on the murder and torture complaint against Chief Inspector Amor Cerillo, Police Officer 3 Arnel Oares and Police Officers 1 Jeremiah Pereda and Jerwin Cruz of Caloocan City police station 7 to the Ombudsman over the DOJ chief’s supposed prejudgment on the case with his public pronouncements.

“I serve at the pleasure of the President. While I respect the view of everyone to express themselves freely, I will stay for as long as I enjoy the trust and confidence of the President,” Aguirre said.

The justice secretary turned the table on Reyes, questioning why the priest was silent on issues hounding the church.

“I am just wondering why in the face of reports of Filipino priests molesting minors, of Filipino priests fathering children, of Filipino priests bringing minor girls to motels and those Filipino priests molesting sacristans, the good Fr. Reyes is surprisingly silent on these serious matters involving Filipino minors. Maybe it is just me, but I cannot help but wonder,” Aguirre said.

Last week, the parents of Kian filed murder and torture charges against the four police officers, who were already relieved from their posts and placed under restrictive custody.

READ: 4 cops charged with Kian’s killing

Aguirre earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct parallel investigation on Kian’s death.

He, however, lamented the refusal of Kian’s parents to cooperate with the NBI probe when they did not allow the bureau’s forensic team to conduct a third autopsy on Kian’s body. IDL

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TAGS: DoJ, Kian delos Santos, resignation, Rodrigo Duterte, Vitaliano Aguirre II
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