Nanawagan si Senator Risa Hontiveros noong lunes for for the resignation of Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, dahil umano sa balak nitong sampahan siya ng kaso.
In a privilege speech, Hontiveros presented as evidence a digital photo of Aguirre sending text messages during the Senate hearing on the killing of Kian Loyd Delos Santos last Tuesday.
The senator said that when the picture was enlarged, it revealed that Aguirre was texting a certain “Cong. Jing” who said that, “Naturuan na ni Hontiveros ang testigo. Her questions are leading questions.” Aguirre responded by saying that, “yon nga sinasabi ko dito. Very obvious. Kaya nga expedite natin ang cases niyo vs her.”
Hontiveros said her office obtained the photo from an anonymous source who took a picture of Aguirre and inadvertently captured the exchange of text messages on the phone of the justice secretary.
“Mr. President, is the DOJ Secretary plotting a case against a sitting senator while a Senate proceeding is going on, right inside the Senate session hall?” Hontiveros said.
“Habang tayo ay naghi-hearing para makamit natin ang katarungan para sa isang 17-year-old na pinatay ng pulis na nakadapa sa lupa, mukhang ang pinagkakaabalahan ng ating Justice secretary ay paano makaganti sa kanyang kalaban,” she added.
Hontiveros said Aguirre should resign for allegedly violating the Republic Act 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and undermining the justice system.
The senator said that according to her office’s investigation, the “Cong. Jing” Aguirre was texting is former Negros Oriental Representative Jacinto “Jing” Paras.
Hontiveros pointed out that Paras is a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), which has filed impeachment raps against Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
“Hindi ako magtataka kung sa mga susunod na araw ay may mga kaso nang isasampa laban sa akin si Justice Secretary o ang kanyang mga galamay sa VACC. If the Justice Secretary wants to file cases against me, see you in court, Mr. Aguirre!” Hontiveros said.
“Siya po ay nakikipagkuntsabahan sa isang grupo para magsampa ng kaso – kaso na opisina din niya ang magpapasya kung may probable cause o wala. There are no words, Mr. President, for this kind of lutong macau. There are no words,” she added.
Hontiveros also pointed out that several days after Aguirre texted Paras, a standoff ensued between Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who has given sanctuary to the minor witnesses in the Kian killing, and the VACC and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
The VACC, according to the senator, tried to acquire custody of the child witnesses by “pressuring” the father of one of the witnesses, who had been in the custody of the CIDG.
However, after the father met with his children and a phone conversation with his OFW wife, he decided that he wanted to leave police custody and join his children under the Church’s protection.