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Aguirre tells DOJ employees:  Let’s stop corruption in 2017

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 12:30 AM January 02, 2017
PAYOFF MONEY Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II shows the P30 million turned over by Associate Immigration Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles. The two officials allegedly extorted the money from gaming tycoon Jack Lam in exchange for the release of illegal Chinese workers. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

In this Dec. 14, 2016 file photo, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II shows the P30 million turned over by Associate Immigration Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles. The two officials allegedly extorted the money from gaming tycoon Jack Lam in exchange for the release of illegal Chinese workers. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA — Amid the corruption scandal hounding some of the agencies under his administrative supervision, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II vowed to carry on with the reforms he had initiated in the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In his New Year’s message, Aguirre enjoined employees of the DOJ and its attached agencies to help him rid the justice department of corruption in deference to President Duterte’s order.

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“We will pursue our reform-oriented initiatives in the DOJ with determination and we will serve the people with new found dedication and vigor,” the justice secretary said.

He also promised to continue the DOJ’s active role in the Duterte administration’s controversial approach to eradicating the drug menace, which has led to the killings of over 6,000 people during Mr. Duterte’s first six months in office.

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“As we usher in the New Year, I join everyone in their collective hope and prayer for a better Philippines in 2017. May all our dreams and aspirations for ourselves and for our loved ones be realized,” Aguirre said.

“To the Filipino people, you have my solemn reassurance that under my watch, your Department of Justice will continue to pursue its anti-drug, anti-crime and anti-corruption mandate under the administration of President Duterte,” he added.

Aguirre, Mr. Duterte’s fraternity ‘brod’ and one of his most trusted Cabinet members, had been at the forefront of the President’s campaign to curb corruption and the narcotics trade.

He disclosed that he had spurned Macau-based gambling tycoon Jack Lam’s offer of P100 million a month in protection money in exchange for allowing Lam’s illegal online gambling business in Clark, Pampanga, to continue.

However, it turned out later that two associate commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration, Al Argosino and Michael Robles, who were Aguirre’s brods at Lex Talionis fraternity at San Beda College of Law, received P50 million from Lam’s representative, retired Senior Supt. Wally Sombero.

Aguirre also led the filing of criminal complaints against Mr. Duterte’s most vocal critic, Sen. Leila de Lima, for allegedly allowing the drug trade to proliferate when she was justice secretary.  SFM

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TAGS: anti-corruption campaign, anti-crime campaign, bribery, Bureau of Immigration, corruption, Crime, Department of Justice, Graft, illegal online gambling, Jack Lam, Justice, law, law enforcement, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, Vitaliano Aguirre II, Wally Sombero
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