Gordon ‘not impressed’ with Aguirre after dismissal of drug cases
Senator Richard Gordon said he was not impressed with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s performance after prosecutors under the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed two controversial drug cases.
“I am not impressed,” Gordon said when asked in an interview over the ABS CBN News Channel on Wednesday if he thought Aguirre was “ineffective.”
“Yung kay Faeldon, dinismiss nila. Excuse me? That is the biggest drug case at that time,” said Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, referring to former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon.
Faeldon was head of the Bureau of Customs when P6.4 billion worth of shabu slipped into the country.
Then, in a resolution dated Dec. 20, 2017, another DOJ panel under the National Prosecution Service dismissed the cases filed against alleged drug lords Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and 20 others.
For Gordon, it would be ironic to look at the situation since there was an ongoing drug campaign in the country, yet the DOJ panel exonerated and freed the high-profile drug personalities.
“In this particular instance, you are saying ‘Hey, ano bang gagawin natin dito sa taong ito eh sinasabi ng Presidente, ayoko ng drugs, papatayin ko yang mga loko-loko na andiyan sa drug’ as a way of scaring them,” he said.
“And here is the Secretary of Justice, man of the Secretary of Justice, dismissing a case,” Gordon added.
Aguirre has not dismissed the case against Espinosa, Lim and the others. The case is currently being looked into again after the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Service filed a motion for reconsideration questioning the resolution clearing the accused.
The Justice secretary has formed a new panel of prosecutors to look into the motion for reconsideration.
Aguirre said that any decision by the prosecutors would be subject to an automatic review by his office.
The senator said it was not a valid excuse for Aguirre to know nothing even if he was outside of the country when the decision was made.
“He was in the States, but you don’t do it that way. You cannot say ‘Oh I don’t know anything about it.’ Hindi pwede yan,” Gordon said when asked if he believed that Aguirre did not know anything on the dismissal order.
“Ako, I have to know what’s going on with my people. Before you do anything, you tell me,” the senator added.
On Wednesday, Aguirre said the resolution of the case had not reached his office, saying National Prosecution Service (NPS), which handled the case, was an autonomous body within the DOJ.
Speaking to radio dzMM, Aguirre said it would only go to him when the time for the automatic review arrives. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.