Aguirre’s CA confirmation deferred amid Trillanes’ opposition
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s confirmation has been deferred by a panel of the Commission on Appointments (CA) amid opposition filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Trillanes, who is on official business in the United States, has submitted two sworn oppositions to the CA’s committee on justice and judicial bar and council, requesting the panel to reject Aguirre’s appointment for lack of “required demeanor befitting the position of Justice Secretary” and for being “vindictive” and “vengeful.”
The senator, in particular, cited Aguirre’s several interviews with the media where he was quoted calling him “son of a bitch,” a “stupid senator,” a coward, and “sundalong kanin” (useless soldier).
But Aguirre stood by his statements when Senator Panfilo Lacson read some portions of Trillanes’ opposition before the committee.
“I will not deny that I have called Senator Trillanes ‘sundalong kanin,’ ‘Gagong Senador’ or ‘duwag.’ I will not be me if I don’t tell you the truth. I’ve been raised to tell the truth no matter how inconvenient it may be,” the Justice Secretary told the committee.
Aguirre’s tirades against Trillanes came after the latter accused him of possible involvement in the P50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration.
The nominee then asked for understanding and compassion and appealed to the committee to judge him not by the words he uttered but by the things he has done and can still so as Justice Secretary.
Manila Representative Rosenda Ann Ocampo, nevertheless, advised the Justice Secretary to be “more careful,” “calm,” and “considerate” with his statements.
“And don’t be too sensitive,” Ocampo said.
Senator Loren Legarda agreed with Ocampo as she also advised Aguirre to just get a spokesman and or just ignore those criticizing him.
“Kung lahat po ng banat po sa inyo ay sasagutin ninyo, hindi na po kayo makakapag trabaho. Kaya let’s focus on being a compassionate, fair and sensitive to the needs of the vulnerable, and the needy and the poor in the DOJ (Department of Justice),” Legarda said.
“But [in response to] those who criticize you, perhaps you could have a spokesman or some lawyers to speak for you or just ignore perhaps,” she added.
Despite Trillanes’ opposition, Lacson moved to recommend Aguirre’s confirmation, which was immediately seconded by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
But Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto objected to Lacson’s motion, saying Trillanes, who is a member of the Senate minority, be given an opportunity to confront Aguirre when he arrives on February 11.
The panel granted Recto’s request and agreed to hold another hearing on February 15.
Aside from Trillanes, a certain Engineer Darwin Reci also submitted a sworn opposition on Aguirre’s appointment. CDG
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