MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV asked Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to resign and save himself from the controversies and scandals hounding the Duterte administration.
Trillanes yesterday made the call as Aguirre is set to face grilling by senators again this week on at least two occasions: his confirmation hearings before the Commission on Appointments (CA) and the resumption of inquiry into the P50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration (BI), which is under his supervision.
“I hope he’ll (Aguirre) just resign. I don’t know if his President knows how to fire his friends. I just hope he does this (resignation) voluntarily,” Trillanes told dzBB.
Based on the last two hearings of the Senate justice committee on the bribery scandal, Aguirre appears to have instructed former BI deputy commissioners – Al Argosino and Michael Robles – to extort money from gambling mogul Jack Lam in exchange for the release of 600 arrested Chinese workers.
Aguirre is also under fire for giving privileges to high-profile drug convicts, including mobile phones, internet access, and smart televisions, supposedly in exchange for testifying on Sen. Leila de Lima’s alleged links to illegal drug trade in New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary.
The senator also said he would continue to oppose Aguirre’s appointment before the CA on various grounds, including his alleged involvement in the bribery scandal at the BI and for attacking the Senate as an institution.
Trillanes said Aguirre called him and other senators “gago” (morons), which can be considered an attack on the Senate.
He said Aguirre is also responsible for persecuting De Lima on trumped up charges upon orders of Duterte.
“He (Aguirre) has been tampering with their (drug convicts) testimonies to pursue their agenda (against De Lima),” Trillanes said.
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