Members of the senate minority support Senator Risa Hontiveros’ call on the resignation of Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
Senator Hontiveros released on Monday several photos of Aguirre’s exchange of text messages with the member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) Jacinto “Jing” Paras, which she accused of plotting case against her while a senate hearing is ongoing.
Senators Franklin Drilon, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV have recalled their protest on DOJ secretary’s resignation.
“We reiterate our call for Vitaliano Aguirre to resign from his post as Secretary of Justice,” the minority senators said.
“Now, he has been caught red-handed plotting against a sitting Senator during a hearing where he is supposed to be paying his utmost attention,” senators said in a statement.
Earlier, Aguirre also received collective ethics complaint on spreading false information against politicians, the complaint was filed by the Millennial Against Dictators, the youth group accused the Justice Secretary of violating the same complaint which is the Republic Act 6713 the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Official and Employees.
“His actions signify a lack of competence for a man who holds the highest office on justice. His actions clearly violate the norms of conduct for public officials under the law,” the minority senators said.
Hontiveros on Aguirre’s “unethical conduct”
The dismayed Senator Hontiveros called for the resignation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre saying that the justice secretary violated the Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
All these lead me to the conclusion that there is no other respectable option but to call on the Justice Secretary to resign,” this was the conclusion of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros during her privilege speech at the senate on Monday.
“Secretary Aguirre undermines our justice system, and his continued stay in office is a vulgar insult to the Filipino people and our efforts for a more just society,” Senator Hontiveros stressed.
In her privilege speech, Hontiveros presented enlarged digital photos of Justice Secretary exchanging text messages with a “Cong. Jing”, the senator identified that it was the Former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto “Jing” Paras, who is a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
In the text message, “Naturuan na ni Hontiveros ang testigo [Hontiveros already coached the witness], her questions are leading questions,” Cong. Jing’s text message read.
“Very obvious, kaya nga expedite natin ang cases niyo vs her [Very obvious, let’s expedite your cases against her],” Aguirred replied.
Hontiveros said that anonymous source caught Aguirre texting during the senate hearing on the killing of the 17-year-old student Kian Lloyd Delos Santos. “The photographer was inadvertently able to capture the text message exchange on the screen of the phone of the DOJ Secretary.” Hontiveros said.
The lady senator said that she consulted with several photography experts, who all confirmed the authenticity of the digital photo.