Palace: Duterte remains happy with Aguirre except for ‘certain debacles’
President Rodrigo Duterte remains satisfied with the performance of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II except for “certain debacles” in the justice department, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
“[President Duterte] has been generally satisfied with the performance of the secretary of Justice, well, except for certain debacles that happen to the DOJ recently,” Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a Palace briefing.
Guevarra said Duterte was displeased with the dismissal of the drug charges against self-confessed drug dealer Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr., alleged drug lord Peter Lim and several others.
“The President did not hide his displeasure about certain developments pertaining to the war on drugs more specifically the dismissal of charges against certain high-profile suspects,” Guevarra said.
Reports have circulated that President Duterte would fire Aguirre following his displeasure with the dismissal of drug charges against top drug suspects.
But Guevarra said the chief executive has not made any announcement regarding the issue and Malacañang has not received any resignation letter from any Cabinet official.
“The Office of the President has not received any resignation from either Secretary [Silvestre] Bello or Secretary Aguirre. And the President has just returned from his Holy Week visit to his hometown and he has not given any statement regarding this matter,” he said.
Reports have also surfaced that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had tendered his resignation.
Duterte had earlier hinted of a possible Cabinet revamp, citing he was not happy with the performance of some of his officials.
“We are not aware of any impending Cabinet revamp,” Guevarra said.
Amid resignation rumors, Guevarra said Aguirre and Bello would still be attending the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday afternoon.
“Yes, of course they have been invited to attend the Cabinet meeting this afternoon,” he said. /jpv
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