Hontiveros calls for resignation of Aguirre for ‘plotting’ against her
Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday called for Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to resign after she received photos of Aguirre’s text messages where he said he’s planning to expedite a case against the senator.
In a privilege speech, the opposition senator presented photos of Aguirre texting inadvertently taken by photographers during the Senate hearing last Sept. 5 on the spate of drug killings.
Zooming on the photos will show Aguirre’s exchange of text messages with certain “Cong. Jing.” Cong. Jing’s message read: “Naturuan na ni Hontiveros ang testigo. Her questions are leading questions.”
Aguirre’s replied: “‘Yon nga sinasabi ko dito. Very obvious. Kaya nga expedite natin ang cases niyo vs her.”
Hontiveros said Aguirre could be referring to witness identified as “MC” who testified during the Sept. 5 hearing.
MC, a neighbor of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos, claimed seeing two Caloocan police officer kill the teenager last Aug. 16.
The “Cong. Jing” Aguirre was texting, according to Hontiveros, could be Former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras, who’s a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
It was the group of Paras that led the filing of an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“Is the DOJ secretary plotting a case against a sitting senator while a Senate proceeding is going on, right inside the Senate session hall?” Hontiveros said. “Habang tayo ay naghi-hearing para makamit natin ang katarungan para sa isang 17-year-old na pinatay ng pulis na nakadapa sa lupa, mukhang ang pinagkakaabalahan ng ating Justice secretary ay paano makaganti sa kanyang kalaban.”
“Kung kaya ito gawin ng Justice secretary sa isang sitting senator, ano pa kaya sa ibang mga mamamayang Pilipino?” she added. “The culture of political vindictiveness that allows Justice secretaries to make a mockery of justice springs from the same poisonous well as the culture of impunity that encourages policemen to plant evidence, fabricate stories about their targets, and become cold-blooded killers.”
“Siya po ay nakikipagkuntsabahan sa isang grupo para magsampa ng kaso – kaso na opisina din niya ang magpapasya kung may probable cause o wala,” Hontiveros went on. “There are no words, Mr. President, for this kind of lutong macau. There are no words!”
Hontiveros said there is “no other respectable option but to call on the Justice secretary to resign.”
The senator said Aguirre violated Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees: “To quote Section 4(b) of the said law: ‘Public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill. They shall enter public service with utmost devotion and dedication to duty. They shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage’.”
“Secretary Aguirre undermines our justice system, and his continued stay in office is a vulgar insult to the Filipino people and our efforts for a more just society,” she said. /atm
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