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Aguirre dares Tulfo to file charges over pastillas scheme: 'Samahan pa kita'

Former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday dared media practitioner Ramon Tulfo anew to sue him in court in connection with the "pastillas" scheme if the latter can prove his allegations.

"Mr. Tulfo, because I know that you have nothing against me, handa kitang samahan kahit kaninong pulis tayo pumunta para mag-file ka ng case against me. I'm challenging you to do this, sasamahan pa kita," Aguirre said during the continuation of the Senate hearing on the pastillas scheme wherein Chinese nationals had been allegedly allowed to skirt the country's immigration process in exchange for cash.

"I'm sure na itong police agencies natin ay walang gagawin diyan sa complaint mo kundi ilalagay lang sa basurahan," he added.

Aguirre further said Tulfo was not physically present in the hearing because he was avoiding arrest warrants that were issued by a court.

"Alam ninyo kung bakit wala dito si Tulfo na sa kabila ng his penchant for publicity ay hindi umattend ngayon personally before this committee? Kasi po natatakot 'yan because he has standing warrants of arrest issued by regional trial court of Manila, Branch 24," he said, calling Tulfo a "fugitive."

Tulfo previously tagged Aguirre as a protector of the syndicate within the Bureau of Immigration.

Aguirre strategically placed the father and son tandem of Maynardo and Red Mariñas to oversee the visa upon arrival system in the country, according to Tulfo.

But during Tuesday's hearing, BI Deputy Commissioner Tobias Javier said it was Commissioner Jaime Morente who appointed the older Mariñas to the Special Operations Communications Unit.

Aguirre confirmed that the only one whom he appointed during his tenure as Justice Secretary was the younger Mariñas, Marc Red, as chief of the BI Ports Operation Division.

"It's very clear that I appointed Marc Red as POD. It is very clear also from the declaration of the deputy commissioner that it was the Bureau of Immigration commissioner who appointed the father Maynard Marinas. This belies the declaration of Tulfo," he said.

Tulfo, in response, claimed that Aguirre released a circular which supposedly prevented the BI Commissioner from assigning and reassigning personnel.

"Siya po ang nag-aassign ng mga personnel ng immigration sa airport. Ibig sabihn niyan, hindi puwedeng sila-sila lamang ang immigration officers sa airport na walang kinikilingan. Kailangan po may puno iyan, may grandfather. Ang grandfather po niyan ay si Mr. Aguirre," he said.

He also explained that he was only virtually present because of the new Senate protocol requiring a swab test for resource persons.

Tulfo, nonetheless, bared that Aguirre and other lawyers have plotted a scheme to humiliate him before the Senate.

"May plano na po sila, 'yung mga taga-San Beda law, lawyers ng San Beda na kaniyang mga kasamahan, mga brods niya... na ipaaresto ako sa harap mismo ng Senado o kaya diyan mismo para posasan at dalhin kung saan mang istasyon para mapahiya ako," he said, citing a "very reliable source."

Aguirre challenged Tulfo to provide a copy of the memorandum circular he supposedly issued to prevent the reassignment of BI personnel.

"Wala pong ganiyan. Nag-imbento na naman si Tulfo! Ilabas mo! At harapin mo ang warrant of arrest mo," he said.

In previous hearings, Tulfo said kickbacks from the pastillas scheme were delivered via helicopter to Aguirre in his hometown in Quezon—an allegation dismissed by Aguirre as mere personal vendetta.—AOL, GMA News