Aguirre apologizes to De Lima, Pangilinan for plot charge
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II apologized on Tuesday to two senators whom he accused of alleged involvement in a plot to link him in the P50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
Aguirre issued the apology when Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan confronted him during the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee about his allegation.
The justice secretary confirmed saying in media interviews that three senators were planning to offer immunity to some of the personalities involved in the controversy to put all the blame on him. The three were Senators Pangilinan, Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.
But after verifying his information from his sources, Aguirre admitted making an “error” when he dragged Pangilinan’s name in the alleged plot.
“Let me state for the record that a good senator is not involved in any plot or any plan as reported earlier,” Aguirre said.
“I apologize to Senator Kiko, a good public servant and an even better person for any blemish caused to his unsullied reputation,” he said.
Aguirre also apologized to De Lima but only after the latter demanded it from him.
“Kung binawi nyo po ang salita nyong yan kay Senator Kiko, can I expect you, Mr. Secretary na pakibawi din po yung pagturo nyo sa akin because I have nothing to do with that,” De Lima said.
(If you take back your words against Senator Kiko, can I expect you, Mr. Secretary, to also take back your accusation against me because I have nothing to do with that.)
At first, Aguirre said he had yet to verify De Lima’s alleged involvement and asked that he be given until next week to verify his information.
“Oh my,” De Lima exclaimed as she vehemently denied any involvement in such plot.
After the lady senator’s denial, Senator Richard Gordon , chairman of the committee, asked Aguirre if he would now apologize to De Lima.
“She denied, are you apologizing?” Gordon asked, to which Aguirre said, “Yes, your honor.”
Trillanes was not present in the hearing as he is on official business in the United States. CDG/rga
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