MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Wednesday said the plan of Sen. Richard Gordon to enact a law stripping the powers of a Justice Secretary is “unconstitutional”.
“I believe that it is unconstitutional. You could not diminish the power of the President as the Chief Executive. One must remember that as the alter ego of the President, I am merely acting for and in his behalf,” Aguirre said in a text message.
Aguirre made this remark following Gordon’s plan to cut the powers of the Justice Secretary after the DOJ downgraded the charges against police officials accused of killing Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
The Justice Secretary said that Gordon should first prove that the DOJ resolution is wrong stressing that their records show that the case was not proven to qualify as murder.
“…The existence of evident premeditation in the case has not been proven to qualify the killing to murder. Everybody was attacking the resolution on irrelevant matters and ascribing ill motives in its issuance,” Aguirre said.
“…But no one has discussed whether the downgrading is correct or nor; whether the same is supported by evidence and in accordance with law and jurisprudence,” he added.
he said they must first prove that the DOJ resolution is not the correct.
In a radio report, Gordon earlier said that he is still studying if his proposal could be done.
He also stressed that it should be the court and not the DOJ to downgrade charges.
Meanwhile, several senators said that they wanted to reopen to probe into the Espinosa slay after Aguirre downgraded the murder charges to homicide.
A Senate committee report into the Espinosa slay found that the killing was premeditated.