MANILA—Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday reiterated his call to the employees to help him in wiping out corruption in the agency under the Duterte administration.
”I enjoin everyone to join me and to help me fulfill these promises. I once asked of all of you to walk beside me as we strive to better the DOJ, I reiterate that invitation once more. Let our legacy be one of change, of betterment, of advancement as one united Department of Justice,” Aguirre said during the Monday’s flag ceremony held at DOJ grounds in Manila.
Aguirre also made warned DOJ officials and employees who are plotting against him several days after the Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed him as the agency’s chief despite the opposition of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
”For those who remain to be recalcitrant and headstrong in their disobedience to the reforms we are introducing, I am so sorry to have thwarted your efforts to block my confirmation and to cause my removal. I am sorry to have disappointed you. You will continue to be disappointed,” he noted.
Aguirre also urged what he tagged as “discontented and misguided employees” and dissenters to cooperate and to reform.
While admitting that the war against corruption cannot be won without the help and participation of the DOJ rank-and-file employees, Aguirre appealed to them for help by providing information on the corrupt activities of some of their co-workers.
”Join me, join us, let us help each one realize my avowed intention to better the DoJ. If despite this call, you shall remain to be a force of resistance to the changes we will introduce, then you may not like the situation that you will find yourself in,” he said.
Aguirre said it would be better for those who continue to resist the reforms in the department to consider leaving as he will use his power of his office to go after erring employees.
“It will be better for you to leave while you still can. By this time, you already know that I am a man of my word, I do what I promised and I do not say that lightly. I shall utilize all the powers and the prerogatives of my office to go after you. You will get the full measure of the well deserved repayment for your wrongdoings,” he told the employees.
Aguirre also said that he will continue to serve the public as long as he has the trust of President Rodrigo Duterte.
”Time and again, I say this. I will continue to serve for as long as I have the trust and the confidence of our President. And I have no intention of breaking that trust nor eroding that confidence,” said Aguirre.
Aguirre said he will prioritize President Duterte’s marching orders given to him upon assumption of office such as weeding out corruption and other illegal activities and prioritizing the resolution of drug-related charges and heinous crimes.
Last Feb. 15, upon the motion of CA committee on justice and judicial and bar council chairperson Loren Legarda, the CA body unanimously confirmed Aguirre’s appointment at the plenary hall.Aguirre promised to redouble his efforts to be of service to the Filipino people.
”Your honors, I now make the same offer coupled with the promise of redoubled efforts to fully implement our President’s marching orders to truly wage war against illegal drugs, against corruption and against all forms of criminality,” the DOJ Chief said.
Despite Trillanes’ strong opposition, 12 members of the CA panel voted to recommend the confirmation of Aguirre at the plenary session.