DOJ chief: It’s okay to call someone ‘son of a bitch’
It’s okay for Filipinos to call someone “son of a bitch” since the Supreme Court has ruled that the phrase was not libelous, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Wednesday.
Aguirre made the remark when asked during his confirmation hearing before the Commission on Appointment’s committee on justice and judicial and bar council about his statement in the media, where he was quoted calling Senator Antonio Trillanes IV a “son of a bitch.”
“Alam mo po yan, meron na po tayong decision ng Supreme Court. Yan po ang English ng p***** i**,” he said when Senator Panfilo Lacson read portions of Trillanes’ sworn opposition on the Justice Secretary’s appointment.
(You know, we already have a Supreme Court decision on that. It’s the English equivalent of p***** i**.)
“Yan po sinabi ng Supreme Court na it’s not libelous (The Supreme Court said it’s not libelous). It’s just okay for the Filipinos to use it,” Aguirre added.
Aside from cursing him, Trillanes also cited in his opposition paper dated January 24 Aguirre’s other remarks against him like calling him “stupid senator,” “coward,” and “sundalong kanin (useless soldier ).
Trillanes said he did not mind being called either “sundalong kanin” or “coward,” saying his accomplishments as a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for 16 years would speak for itself.
“However, I believe that his act of resorting to flagrant and shameless name-calling instead of responding to the issues, by calling me a ‘Gagong Senador’ is clearly uncalled for and is unbecoming of a person being considered for confirmation for the lofty, honorable, and exalted position Secretary of Justice,” he said in his sworn opposition.
The said action and actuation, the senator said, showed that Aguirre “lacks the required demeanor befitting the position of Secretary of Justice.”
“His spiteful reaction clearly shows that he is vindictive, vengeful and that he completely lacks the required equanimity for him to be entrusted with the power and authority of the Government, as Secretary of Justice, to impartially and/or objectively investigate and/or prosecute those who are suspected of charged of violating the law,” he said.
Trillanes said Aguirre’s use of the term “gagong Senador” also showed his lack total lack of respect for him as an incumbent senator and as an elected representative of the people, and “his total lack of respect for the Senate as an institution.”
The senator submitted a supplemental opposition on January 30 where he included Aguirre’s curse at him based on an article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
But Aguirre stood by his statements against Trillanes, who earlier accused him of possible involvement in the P50-million bribery scandal hounding the Bureau of Immigration.
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.
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