Aguirre denies hand in DOJ unauthorized accounts

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2018   •   4943

FILE PHOTO: Former Department of Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre

 

MANILA, Philippines – Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II denied any involvement in the alleged anomalous transactions at the Department of Justice (DOJ) discovered recently by the Commission on Audit (COA.)

“I have no participation whatsoever in the transactions subject matter of the Annual Audit Report released by the Commission on Audit (COA). No signature was ever required of the undersigned in connection with the said transactions,” Aguire said in a statement referring to the COA report released on Friday, May 25.

Aguirre was referring to COA’s claim in its 2017 report which mentioned three unauthorized accounts to where government funds and unreleased salaries should “park” which existed during his time as justice secretary.

COA flagged the Department of Justice (DOJ) transactions with the Land Bank of the Philippines as “unauthorized” because the law requires all unused public money should have been deposited in the Bureau of the Treasury.

The transferred unliquidated funds reached P65.68 million, based on the COA report.

Aguirre argued that financial transactions in the DOJ were “handled primarily by the Financial Service” and that there was also “an Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary for Finance” to deal with the matter. He, however, shared that his staff explained that the transfer of funds aimed to “ensure that there will be no case that payment of salaries will be delayed.”

He continued “that during the last quarter of the year, when all the cash requirement of the Department is already addressed and settled, all the unutilized NCAs are reverted to the National Treasury.”

Aguirre said he was assured by the officials of the Department that “they would comply with the COA recommendation to stop this practice.”

Meanwhile, the former Justice secretary lambasted the media for reporting that the money was allegedly transferred to some beneficiaries.

Aguiree said, “It appears that the COA requires the submission of the document entitled Payroll Register” which is available at the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and serves as “the basis for crediting of the amounts to officials and employees.” – Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

DOJ wants review of cops’ administrative, criminal liabilities in anti-illegal drug ops

Marje Pelayo   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inter-Agency Review Panel has submitted to the President and furnished a copy to the Philippine National Police (PNP) its preliminary findings in the conduct of anti-illegal drug operations of law enforcement personnel. 

The review covered the 328 cases of the thousands of illegal drug operations conducted since President Duterte assumed office in 2016.

According to DOJ Undersecretary Adrian Sugay, their recommendations include a review of possible administrative and criminal liabilities of erring cops that result in the death of suspects.

The PNP is expected to release its report on the matter in the first week of March.

The DOJ assures that all policemen who are involved in such cases will be held accountable based on the result of their review.

This came after an incident that happened in Quezon City where members of the PNP and agents from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) engaged in a shootout in an alleged anti-illegal drug operation.

“Any and all possible administrative/criminal liability against those involved in these anti-illegal drug operations where deaths occurred may be pursued depending on any further findings/recommendations,” Usec. Adrian Sugay stressed. (MNP with reports from Dante Amento)

NBI completes forensic examination on Christine Dacera’s body – DOJ

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has completed its forensic examination on the remains of flight attendant Christine Dacera, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Monday.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will leave it to the NBI to release the results of its examination.

Guevarra added that the agency is currently coordinating with the Makati Medical Center for the tests it conducted on Dacera when she was taken there after she was found unconscious in the bathtub of a Makati hotel on January 1 after a night of partying with some friends.

The NBI earlier revealed it had extracted at least 100 milliliters of bodily fluid from Dacera’s body during its re-autopsy. It said it will help check for the presence of illegal drugs or alcohol.

Guevarra said the NBI Digital Forensic Team will next probe the data from the mobile phone of persons tagged in the death of Dacera.

Eleven individuals, who were with Dacera before she died, are facing a complaint for rape with homicide over the incident. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Duterte appoints resigned DOJ Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre II to NAPOLCOM

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque confirmed the appointment of former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as the new Commissioner of the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM).

He will represent the private sector.

Roque said Aguirre’s services as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the early years of the Duterte Administration “bodes well in his new position to make the police service competent, effective, credible and responsive to our people’s needs.”

In April 2018, Aguirre resigned amid controversies in the justice department.

READ: Pres. Duterte accepts Aguirre’s resignation

Among these include the P50-M bribery scandal of Bureau of Immigration (BI); the submission of alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles under witness protection program and the dismissal of charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and alleged drug lord Peter Lim.

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