Reactions come flying as rumors of Aguirre getting fired circulate | Inquirer News

Reactions come flying as rumors of Aguirre getting fired circulate

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:30 AM April 04, 2018

Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II INQUIRER file photo / JOAN BONDOC

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II should not only be sacked but should also be charged for his blunders, Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Tuesday.

Pangilinan’s reaction came after a newspaper reported that President Rodrigo Duterte would fire Aguirre anytime this week.


“Matagal na natin hinihingi ang pagsibak kay Aguirre [We have long been asking for Aguirre’s removal],” Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party, said in a text message when sought for comment.


“Hindi lang dapat sibakin kundi kasuhan ng plunder at kasong anti-graft sa dami ng kalokohan na kanyang pinaggagawa bilang DOJ secretary [He should not only be just removed from office but charged with plunder and graft for the foolishness he had done as the DOJ secretary],” he added.

In a separate statement, Pangilinan enumerated  how  Aguirre  has “wittingly or unwittingly” showing  that he was “unfit” for  his post. The senator  cited Aguirre’s alleged involvement in the P50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration, his alleged false information when he tried to link some opposition  lawmakers  to the Marawi siege,  the  downgrading  of  murder charges against Supt. Marvin Marcos to homicide, the clearing of Nick Faeldon and several Customs officials in the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling case,  the continuing drug trade in the National Bilibid Prisons under his watch, and  the dismissal of  the drug charges against Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim. “The list of his inadvertence is long and serious,” he said. “One might wonder how credible the charges he filed against Senator Leila de Lima were. In one development after another, the charges are now being bared to be false and baseless,” Pangilinan said. Pangilinan and De Lima, who has been detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City over drug charges, are both  part of the Senate minority bloc.

Despite their past “disagreements,” Senator Joel Villanueva said Aguirre was “ultimately” accountable with President Duterte.

“Sec. Aguirre serves at the pleasure of the President. I’ve aired some disagreement with Sec. Aguirre before but ultimately his accountability is with the President,” Villanueva said in another text message.

“If the President is not satisfied with his performance, it’s his prerogative to fire him anytime.”

Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, refused to comment on the issue until the President himself made the announcement about Aguirre.

“Can’t comment. Baka [maybe it’s] fake news,” Sotto said.


For his part, Lacson said: “Until and unless PRRD (Duterte’s initials) announces it, it may be unfair to Secretary Aguirre to speculate on his fate.”

“I would rather not comment on something that is solely the discretion of the appointing authority,” Lacson further said. /jpv


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TAGS: Aguirre, DoJ, Pangilinan, resign, Senate

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