After taking back a statement on calling for Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre's resignation, opposition senators in the end decided to push through with their demand for the justice chief to quit his post.
According to an email from LP president Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, there was an internal miscommunication that led to a staff member making the mistake of prematurely releasing the statement.
"We apologize for the inconvenience. We commit to avoiding similar lapses in the future," the email read.
The members of the Senate minority called on Aguirre to resign for supposed "unethical" actions as a public official.
"Last August 30, we called for his resignation due to his propensity for spreading fake information on those he tagged as “dilawan”—for which he had to publicly apologize more than once," the statement read.
"Now, he has been caught red-handed plotting against a sitting Senator during a hearing where he is supposed to be paying his utmost attention," it added.
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday called for Aguirre's resignation for supposedly “plotting” to file a case against her.
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.
"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 LP senators said.
"The Filipinos deserve better than a Cabinet official who resorts to spreading lies, sowing intrigue and to name-calling. We need a Secretary of Justice who will uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct, integrity, and justice. Secretary Aguirre clearly does not fulfill these requirements," she added. —NB, GMA News