WATCH: De Lima, Aguirre clash anew at Senate probe on bribery scandal
Senator Leila de Lima and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III clashed anew on Thursday over the latter’s earlier allegation that the head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) had also received a bribe offer from businessman Jack Lam.
This, after Pagcor chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo denied Aguirre’s claim before the Senate blue ribbon committee that Lam had attempted to offer her bribe.
“Sa akin ho wala hong offer kasi hindi po ako nakikapag-meeting nang hindi ko kasama yung team ko. Kung sakaling may offer, lagi kong sinasabi lagay mo in writing, i-discuss natin,” Domingo said.
(To me, there was no offer because I don’t set meetings without taking my team with me. If ever there was an offer, I always say, put it in writing, let’s discuss it.)
De Lima then asked Aguirre where he got his information.
Responding to the senator, the Justice Secretary said: “I might have misunderstood the chairperson but that’s what my notion was after I talked to her…”
But De Lima said the allegation was serious. “Yun lang ba talaga ang style mo (Is that really your only style)?”
“I take it very seriously but that’s my impression when I talked to her (Domingo),” Aguirre said and reiterated that he might just have misunderstood the Pagcor chief.
He said his brief conversation with Domingo probably happened on November 27, the same day that two former immigration officials allegedly received P50 million from Lam’s representative, Wally Sombero, supposedly in exchange for the release of undocumented Chinese workers at the businessman’s casino in Clark, Pampanga.
“If the chairperson is denying it then let her deny it but that’s the way I understood her,” Aguirre said.
“So If I misunderstood her, ako ang may kasalanan (it’s my fault). But it’s a mere misunderstanding,” he further stressed.
“You don’t have to raise your voice Secretary Aguirre, relax lang po kayo (relax),” De Lima said.
The exchange between the two only stopped when Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the committee, intervened and told them to calm down. CDG
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