MANILA, Philippines?President Benigno Aquino III has ordered a swift resolution of the criminal case filed against his shooting buddy and Land Transportation Office chief Virginia Torres, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Monday.
Speaking with reporters, De Lima said the President called her and asked her about the Philippine Daily Inquirer story regarding the criminal case that Torres and 25 other LTO and police officials were facing in connection with the registration of a stolen vehicle in Tarlac City.
The Inquirer article was based on a report prepared by Philippine National Police?s Highway Patrol Group head Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina.
?Yes. He asked me because he read the banner story [of the Inquirer]. The President asked if there was really a complaint. So we were able to verify that there is,? De Lima said.
Asked if Mr. Aquino instructed her to immediately resolve the case, she said: ?The fact he also wants to know if there was really a case? it?s understood. We should quickly resolve it even without the President telling me that.?
De Lima said she ordered Prosecutor General Claro Arellano to direct the handling prosecutor to immediately determine if there was probable cause in the criminal complaint against Torres et al.
The justice secretary said she also ordered the handling prosecutor to explain why the resolution of the case has been delayed by almost two years.
She pointed out that every complaint filed at the Department of Justice should be resolved within the mandatory period of 60 days.
Filed on May 7, 2009, the case stemmed from the questionable registration of a stolen Mitsubishi Pajero while Torres was still the LTO head in Tarlac City.