Bam mulls charges, Senate probe vs Aguirre
Despite his apology, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II could still face charges or a possible Senate probe for linking some opposition senators to the notorious Maute group that launched an attack in Marawi City.
Senator Bam Aquino said some groups had advised him to file a case against the Justice Secretary for accusing him of being part of an alleged plot that could have sparked the Maute siege in Marawi City.
“There are some groups, who have come to me and said na (that) we should file cases para talagang klaro na mali itong nangyari at nagawa n’ya ‘yan (so it will be explicitly said that what he did was wrong). We’re still looking (into) that. Tinitingnan din natin kung magandang course of action ‘yun (We’re still weighing if it’s a good course of action),” Aquino said at Thursday’s regular forum in the Senate.
“Hindi lang kasi ito personal. ‘Yung apology kasi is personal (This is not just a personal issue. His apology was personal). But this is also institutional because he represents the DOJ (Department of Justice), so hindi lang po ito basta-basta (this is not a small matter)…” he said.
Aquino earlier said Aguirre had apologized to him by phone, saying he only got “confused” by the many reports he had been receiving. But the senator still wants the Justice Secretary to issue a public clarification and apology on the matter.
Aside from possible filing of cases, the senator said he was also thinking of seeking a Senate probe when Congress resumes its session in July.
“Kasi obviously wala naman po kaming tinatago, magandang ipaimbestiga natin ito sa majority para talagang malaman ‘yung katotohanan (Because obviously, I am not hiding anything, it will be better if we will have the majority investigate this so we may find out the truth),” he said.
On Wednesday, Aguirre was quoted in the media as saying Aquino attended the May 2 meeting in Marawi City with other opposition lawmakers— Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, which could have sparked the terrorist attack in the city by the Mauwi group.
But Aquino described Aguirre’s accusation as “outrageous,” “ridiculous,” and “out of this world.”
READ: Bam tells Aguirre: Don’t rely on ‘fake news’ in making accusations
“You’re the Secretary of Justice. We expect more from you. So ito pong style na magsasabi kunwari sa media at babawiin na lang, we all know that’s not enough na magbawi lang (So your style of issuing statements to the media then retracting them, we know that it’s not enough for you to just retract). You need to acknowledge it, apologize for it, at huwag nyo nang ulitin (and not commit the same mistake again),” said the senator.
“Hindi po s’ya light na (It’s not a light) accusation. It’s probably the heaviest accusation, which is that you are in cahoots with terrorists. Isa s’yang napakabigat na (It’s a loaded) accusation and of course personally I would appreciate his apology. Nangako naman s’ya na (he promised that) he would clarify today. Hinihintay ko pa rin ‘yun (I am still waiting for it).”
“Pero kung may iba pa pong course of action especially dito sa Senado, pag-uusapan pa po natin (But if there are other courses of action especially in the Senate, then we will discuss it),” Aquino added. IDL/rga
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