Aguirre, Hontiveros face off at Senate
Senator Risa Hontiveros and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confronted each other when they faced in a Senate hearing on Monday.
Hontiveros, during the Senate hearing on the spate of killings in the country, said the cases filed against him by Aguirre were “desperate attempts” to deflect public attention from the real issue, which she said was the latter’s plot to file charges against her.
The plot, she said, was captured last September 5 in a photograph of his alleged text messages with a certain “Cong. Jing, whom she later identified as former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto Paras.
“This is the real issue here. Secretary Aguirre was caught conspiring and instigating private individuals to file cases against a sitting senator inside the Senate,” Hontiveros said, referring to the cellphone conversation which the secretary said was illegally obtained in violation of his right to privacy.
“Hindi rin naman itinatangi ni Secretary Aguirre yung text conversation. Huwag na tayong magpaligoy-ligoy pa Secretary Aguirre. Sabi ni Secretary Aguirre, bibigyan daw nya ako ng magandang laban. Magandang laban o lutong Macau, Mr. chairman?” she asked.
Hontiveros cited in particular the criminal case filed against her by Aguirre at the Pasay Prosecutors Office, which he said is under the Secretary’s jurisdiction.
“Maliwanag ang conflct of interest,” she said. “This also confirms the conspiracy hatched by Secretary Aguirre to expedite the filing of cases against me.”
“For the information of the Secretary, it’s already game over. Tapos na ang boxing, bistong bisto na po kayo, tama na ang pagpapalusot. Tama na ang pagtatago sa mga pekeng kaso. Panahon na para lisanin nyo ang position na lubos na ninyong dinungisan,” the senator added.
But Aguirre insisted that the real issue was Hontiveros’ alleged violation of Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law.
“Ang issue sa inyo, did you violate my constitutional right to private communication?” he asked.
Aguirre refused to discuss the alleged contents of the cellphone conversion, saying it was inadmissible because it was taken “in violation of my right to privacy.”
“Yan ay hindi nyo maaring gamitin … It is as if it is non-existent,” the Justice secretary said, citing the Constitution.
He said he would not comment on the supposed conversation “because that might be construed as a waiver of my right to raise the fact that it is inadmissible in evidence.”
Aguirre challenged the senator to identify the photographer who took the image of his personal messages if only to prove that the conversation was captured in good faith.
Apart from filing a criminal complaint before the Pasay Prosecutor’s Office, Aguirre said he had filed an ethics case at the Senate against Hontiveros. /cbb