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'CAUGHT RED-HANDED'

Minority senators call for Aguirre's resignation


Minority senators on Tuesday called on Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to resign following Senator Risa Hontiveros' revelation.

"We reiterate our call for Vitaliano Aguirre to resign from his post as Secretary of Justice," minority senators Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV said in a statement.

The senators had called for Aguirre's resignation in August for his "propensity for spreading fake information on those he tagged as 'dilawan.'"

The "fake information" was Aguirre's allegation that some opposition lawmakers met with certain families ahead of the May 23 attack of the Maute group in Marawi City.

Aguirre had apologized for making such an accusation.

On Monday, Hontiveros presented during the Senate's session a photo showing Aguirre text message urging a former congressman to expedite a case against the senator.

Hontiveros said 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.”

The senator said "Cong. Jing" was former Negros Oriental representatives Jacinto "Jing" Paras.

"This recent development once more highlights his unethical actions as a public official," the minority senators said.

The senators added that Aguirre has been "caught red-handed plotting against a sitting senator during a hearing where he is supposed to be paying his utmost attention."

"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 senators added.

Aguirre has not replied to GMA News Online's request for reaction to Hontiveros's revelation and renewed calls for his resignation. —ALG, GMA News

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