MANILA—Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday denied allegations of Sen. Leila de Lima that he gave some inmates detained in Camp Aguinaldo “special privileges” to testify against the senator.
De Lima earlier said that she had A1 information to prove that Aguirre returned the privileges including the use of cellphones and other communication gadgets to inmates in exchange for testifying against her in the House of Representatives.
De Lima, who is also former Justice Secretary, said that if Aguirre denied her allegations, she would show her proof.
Aguirre, however, said that he never ordered the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to extend privileges to the inmates.
“That’s completely false,” Aguirre said. “That’s not my fault. I never tolerated it. I never ordered it.”
Aguirre said that he had “nothing to fear” because he had “nothing to hide.”
He said De Lima was merely trying to “blur” the issue because she knew that the resolution showing probable cause on several criminal complaints against her could be released “anytime soon.”
The Justice Secretary further said that contrary to De Lima’s claim that the Ombudsman has primary jurisdiction to investigate her cases, he said that there were times when regional trail courts (RTC) also had jurisdiction.
“There are many cases against her. My five-man panel reviewed if these cases should be forwarded to the Ombudsman or if there are some that could not be forwarded to the Ombudsman because the RTC had jurisdiction,” Aguirre said.