Sen. Bam Aquino mulls charges, Senate probe against Aguirre

“You’re the Secretary of Justice. We expect more from you.”

This was said by Senator Bam Aquino referring to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II who earlier accused him of being part of an alleged plot that could have sparked the Maute siege in Marawi City.

In an article published by Inquirer, it mentioned that Aquino said it isn’t enough that Aguirre just retracted his previous statement to the media; further citing that the DOJ secretary should also acknowledge it, apologize for it and vow not to commit the same mistake again.

Aquino likewise said some groups had advised him to file a case against Aguirre who, despite his apology, could still face charges or a possible Senate probe for linking some opposition senators to the notorious Maute group.

“There are some groups, who have come to me and said na (that) we should file cases para talagang klaro na mali itong nangyari at nagawa n’ya ‘yan (so it will be explicitly said that what he did was wrong). We’re still looking (into) that. Tinitingnan din natin kung magandang course of action ‘yun,” Aquino was quoted saying at a regular forum in the Senate on June 8.

[We’re still weighing if it’s a good course of action.]

In stating this, Aquino further stressed that it is not just a personal issue but also an institutional matter considering the fact that Aguirre represents the justice department.”

Earlier, Aquino claimed Aguirre had apologized to him by phone; saying he only got “confused” by the many reports he had been receiving.The senator, on the other hand, still wants the Justice Secretary to issue a public clarification and apology on the matter.

In addition, Aquino further said that aside from possible filing of cases, he is contemplating seeking a Senate probe when Congress resumes its session next month.

“Kasi obviously wala naman po kaming tinatago, magandang ipaimbestiga natin ito sa majority para talagang malaman ‘yung katotohanan,” he quipped.

[Because obviously we are not hiding anything so it will be better if we have the majority to investigate this so we may find out the truth.]

On June 7, Aguirre was quoted by the media saying Aquino attended the May 2 meeting in Marawi City with other opposition lawmakers — Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, which could have sparked the terrorist attack in the city by the Maute group.

Expressing disgust, Aquino described Aguirre’s accusation as “outrageous,” “ridiculous,” and “out of this world” as he further noted the accusation is not a light matter but probably the heaviest accusation so far.

Before considering the course of action, Aquino disclosed he is still waiting for Aguirre’s promise to clarify the matter.