Minority senators are taking back their call for Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II's resignation, Senator Francis Pangilinan said Tuesday morning.
"We are recalling the statement of the minority senators on 'Resign Aguirre' call of Sen. [Risa] Hontiveros," Pangilinan said two hours after releasing the "resign call."
"There has been a misunderstanding. We apologize for the mistake," the senator added, without providing additional details.
A member of the senator's staff said the statement was withdrawn because the minority senators wanted Hontiveros's speech on Monday to be referred to the proper committee first.
The statement is expected to be issued officially again on Wednesday.
In the withdrawn statement released to the media earlier, Pangilinan and other minority senators said Aguirre should resign for plotting against Hontiveros.
In her speech on Monday afternoon at the Senate, Hontiveros said she discovered Aguirre's plot through a photo taken during the chamber's session.
She said that an enhanced version of the photo, given to her by a spectator during the Senate session, showed Aguirre's exchange of text message with a certain "Cong. Jing," whom the senator later identified as former Negros Oriental representative Jacinto "Jing" Paras.
In the exchange of text messages, Aguirre allegedly told Cong. Jing to expedite their case against Hontiveros.
"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 minority senators said. —ALG, GMA News