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