Hontiveros seeks Aguirre’s resignation over plot against her
Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday demanded the resignation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for allegedly plotting to bring cases against her.
Hontiveros took to the floor and said a photograph of Aguirre, during the Senate hearing last Sept. 5, proves that the justice secretary was plotting against her.
She said the photographer, whom she did not identify, inadvertently captured an exchange of text messages that Aguirre was having during the hearing.
“Text of the person he was talking to: Hontiveros was able to coach the witness. Her questions are leading questions,” Hontiveros quoted the message as saying.
“Reply of Sec. Aguirre: That is what I’m saying here. Very obvious. That’s why let us expedite your cases against her,” she said.
Hontiveros claimed Aguirre was texting “Cong. Jing,” whom she identified as former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto “Jing” Paras, now a member of the the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
The senator said Paras and lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, who was also from VACC, rushed to her office last Thursday to take custody of two minors who were witnesses to the killing of Delos Santos.
Paras and Topacio also rushed to the residence of Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David over custody of the two minors, Hontiveros said.
She denied she manipulated the minor witnesses and maintained that their testimony was “consistent with the findings of the ballistic exam, and the postmortem report of both the Public Attorney’s Office and the Philippine National Police crime lab.”
“Is the DOJ plotting a case against a sitting senator while a Senate proceeding is going on, right inside the Senate session hall?” Hontiveros asked.
“While we are holding a hearing to get justice for a 17-year-old, who was killed by the police [while] slumped on the ground, it looks like our justice secretary is busy finding out how to take revenge against his enemy,” Hontiveros said.
She said she would not be surprised if a case will be filed against her in the coming days, either by Aguirre or by the VACC, in order to silence and harass her.
“All these lead me to the conclusion that there is no respectable option but to call on the justice secretary to resign,” Hontiveros said.
“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.
Claiming that Aguirre’s action constitutes unethical behavior, Hontiveros asked that the Senate committees on civil service and constitutional amendments investigate the matter.