Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Close  
  • share this
After DOJ’s acquittal of drug lords

House minority urges Duterte to review Cabinet members

/ 03:35 PM March 14, 2018
Danilo Suarez

House minority leader Danilo Suarez. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

President Rodrigo Duterte should “review” the personalities in his cabinet to determine their fitness to hold their position, House of Representatives minority members urged on Wednesday in the wake of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) acquittal of suspected drug lords.

“The justice secretary will be reminded that he is part of the President’s executive family. In matter fulfilling under his jurisdiction, generally, his actions and decisions are deemed those of the President’s,” the minority bloc said in a statement, which was also read by Minority Leader Rep. Danilo Suarez in a briefing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Just two years into Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s term, minority members said he had “already put under question the integrity of his office and attached agencies.”

“This is alarming, given the vast powers that the secretary of justice can exercise. In light of this, we call upon the President to review the personalities of his official family and determine their fitness to hold their positions,” they added.

FEATURED STORIES

Pressed if Aguirre should resign, Buhay party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza Jr. said: “Pinagpapaliwanag pa siya eh (He’s being asked to explain)… let’s wait for it.”

The minority bloc likewise questioned why would there be insufficient evidence against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

“Why would there be insufficient evidence when Espinosa himself admitted being a drug lord? During a Senate investigation in November 2016, Espinosa claimed that he had annual gross sales of P50 million while giving out P20 million as protection money for those involved in his illegal drug network. Where is justice here?” they asked.

“Senator de Lima was indicted because of allegations that she conspired with these personalities. Does this mean that the charges against senator De Lima are baseless?” they added.

Aside from Espinosa, suspected drug triad boss Peter Lim, President Rodrigo Duterte’s “kumpadre” (wedding co-sponsor), was also absolved of drug trafficking charges.

The DOJ panel dismissed the case against suspected drug lords citing the weak evidence presented by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the “inconsistencies” in the testimony of its lone witness, Marcelo Adorco.

The decision, approved by acting-Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr., was issued last Dec. 20, 2017, but was only discovered by media on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ: DOJ clears suspected drug lord

But Aguirre and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the charges against Espinosa, Lim and 20 others had not been dismissed with finality and was still subject to review.

“Wala pa pong pinal na desisyon (There is no final decision yet),” said Roque.

READ: Case vs suspected drug lords ‘far from being final’ – Roque

Aguirre has also ordered the creation of a new panel of prosecutors to review the resolution and has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the prosecutors who dismissed the drug case. /je

RELATED STORIES

Aguirre to NBI: Probe state prosecutors

Aguirre forms panel to review dismissed drug cases vs Lim, Kerwin

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

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.

TAGS: acquittal, Aguirre, cabinet member, DoJ, drug lord, duterte, House minority, Review
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
entertainment

PH films in Germany, Indonesia and Canada

September 20, 2018 12:40 AM

entertainment

La Diva reunion in the works

September 20, 2018 12:30 AM

entertainment

‘Nun’ star on benefits of watching horror films

September 20, 2018 12:20 AM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.