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Aguirre refutes shredding of DOJ documents

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Former Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

MANILA, Philippines — Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has denied allegations that he had ordered the shredding of some documents at the justice department days before leaving his post.

In a statement, Aguirre described the reports as “malicious” as he had no hand in the shredding of any document.

He added that if there were indeed documents that were shredded, it was just routine disposal of unnecessary documents. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Pres. Duterte accepts Aguirre’s resignation

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, April 6th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the sidelines of the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. (RICHARD MADELO / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the resignation of Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

During the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the secretary was seen being cheerful with President Duterte.

Malacañang at first said they have not received any resignation letter from the secretary when the issue on Cabinet revamp resurfaced.

“I [will] just also tell you now that I conferred with the officials. I accepted the resignation of Vitaliano Aguirre. [My] fraternity brother, as Secretary of Justice,” said Duterte.

The resignation of the secretary comes amid controversies faced by the justice department.

These include the 50 million bribery scandal of Bureau of Immigration (BI), the submission of alleged mastermind Janet Lim Napoles under witness protection program and dismissal of charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and alleged druglord Peter Lim.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced that President Duterte has appointed Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra to replace Aguirre in DOJ.

The president also said during the Gawad Saka in Malcañang that he has chosen National Capital Region chief Oscar Albayalde as the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief.

Albayalde will replace PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa who will retire on April 21 after two consecutive term extensions.

Albayalde expressed gratitude for the president’s trust.

“Rest assured that I will not betray their trust and confidence na ibinigay nila sa akin (they have given me). Yun ang maipapangako ko sa kanila (That’s what I can promise them),” said Albayalde.

Meanwhile, the president has threatened smugglers and assured stiffer penalties and accountability against violators.

“I’m going to categorize importation of about P50 million as economic sabotage,” said Duterte. — Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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Palace: No resignation letters from Aguirre, Bello

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2018

(L-R) Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III; Justice Secretary Vitalliano Aguirre II

 

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has yet to receive a resignation letter from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.

This was the Palace’s response to speculations following the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he plans to dismiss more officials after the long holiday break.

For now, Aguirre will remain as the justice secretary.

“Generally satisfied with the performance of the secretary of justice. Well, except to certain debacles that happened to the DOJ recently,” Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Atty. Menardo Guevarra said.

Previous reports on the alleged resignation of Aguirre surfaced following the P50-million bribery scandal in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the granting of witness protection program coverage to pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

Aguirre was also criticized for the dismissal of charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and alleged drug lord, Peter Lim.

Bello on the other hand, was reportedly planning to run as a senator in 2019. — UNTV News & Rescue

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CIDG to submit new evidence vs. Espinosa, et al.

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

FILE IMAGE: Kerwin Espinosa on a Senate hearing

MANILA, Philippines —  Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has announced that the decision to dismiss the drug charges against big time drug lords Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and others is void.

For this reason, the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) is set to submit additional evidence against the said drug personalities.

CIDG legal division chief PSupt. Joseph Orsos said that although they believe they have a strong case, they will still submit the transcript of the statement of Espinosa during a Senate inquiry where he admitted being a drug dealer and his extrajudicial confession to the PNP-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).

“As far as we are concerned, we have already shown that what is stated there is uncontested,” said Orsos.

The extrajudicial confession of Kerwin to the AIDG states that he was distributing illegal drugs while in detention through his men.

He also said he was introduced to other drug lords like Peter Co, Tony Co, and Peter Lim while in detention.

In line with this, the CIDG is confident that the police unit can win against the said drug lords.

“If you will read the resolution, if you scrutinize it, it’s really reversible,” said the legal chief.

However, Orsos said the fiscal have to explain why they have a contradictory decision regarding the case against Sen. De Lima. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

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