Bring it on, Aguirre shoots back
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II lashed out at Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima for their alleged efforts to ascribe ill motives to the Department of Justice’s pursuit of gaming tycoon Jack Lam’s illegal online gaming operations and hiring of thousands of illegal Chinese workers in his Fontana and Fort Ilocandia hotel casinos.
“Trillanes who? A sundalong kanin and a coward who did not question me from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m. in the Senate hearing [on Monday] even if he had the chance to. You should have found what you were looking for if only you asked me,” Aguirre said.
A sundalong kanin is a soldier who has never experienced combat because he hides in an office to avoid being sent to the front.
Aguirre said he had no other motive than to make Lam pay for the billions of taxes he owed the government from his unlicensed online gambling operations and stop his illegal hiring of Chinese nationals.
He accused Trillanes and De Lima of conspiring with each other in dangling an offer of immunity to former Bureau of Immigration Associate Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles in exchange for pinning down Aguirre as leading a shakedown of Lam.
“They (Trillanes and De Lima) have run out of ideas on how to make me look bad. The two commissioners have already declared Secretary Aguirre has nothing to do with the bribery. (Former BI intelligence chief Charles) Calima whom I removed also declared that Secretary Aguirre was innocent. (Wally) Sombero, who has been charged in court, also said that Secretary Aguirre has nothing to do with it,” the justice secretary said.
Aguirre said De Lima should answer how Lam had been able to operate his illegal businesses while she was justice secretary from 2010 to 2015. “Why is Jack Lam in dirty business for long? What did she do?”
Aguirre said that De Lima and Trillanes probably could not accept that one person could say no to a multimillion bribe.
“I’m looking forward to the Feb. 7 hearing [of the Senate blue ribbon committee]. ‘Bring it on Trillanes, De Lima. Bring it all out,’” he said. —GIL CABACUNGAN
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