Thousands sign petition calling for Aguirre's resignation
MANILA, Philippines – "Sukdulan na po talaga ang kasinungalingan at maling impormasyon at kontrobersiya na kinasasangkutan ng public official na ito (This official has been subject to extreme lies, disinformation, and controversy)," youth leader Karla Yu said on Wednesday, September 20, as she led the filing of a petition calling for the resignation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
The YouthRESIST movement on Wednesday submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ) its 800-page petition which gathered more than 17,000 signatures through online platform Change.org.
The youth protesters wore colorful wigs on Wednesday in their bid to increase public pressure on the justice secretary. The same groups filed in July an ethics complaint against Aguirre before the Office of the Ombudsman which has not yet yielded results.
Aguirre has also repeatedly said that he would continue to serve as long as he enjoyed the trust of President Rodrigo Duterte, his fraternity brother at Lex Taleonis at the San Beda Law School.
"Even if he will not listen to us, that doesn’t mean we will stop calling for his resignation and that doesn’t mean we will stop thinking that he does not deserve the position," said Shamah Bulangis of YouthRESIST.
Among their grounds to call for the resignation were Aguirre's fake news pronouncements including the tagging of opposition lawmakers in a meeting in Marawi City that never happened. They also cited the DOJ's downgrade to homicide the initial murder charges against Superintendent Marvin Marcos and other policemen who conducted the raid that killed Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his jail cell in 2016.
Senator Ping Lacson has already raised the irregularIty of DOJ Undersecretary Reynante Orceo's handling of Marcos et al's petition when normally state prosecutors are tasked with such duty.
The protesters rehashed Aguirre's meeting with gambling tycoon Jack Lam in the P50 million extortion attempt scandal inside the Bureau of Immigration involving two of Aguirre and Duterte's frat brothers, former commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles.
Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Richard Gordon has already cleared Aguirre of any wrongdoing. The two commissioners have been fired and have recently withdrawn their complaint against Lam. A separate complaint against Lam is pending before the Ombudsman.
Protesters also slammed Aguirre for supposedly colluding with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) to plot against Senator Risa Hontiveros. Aguirre and VACC will file a slew of complaints against Hontiveros for showing their text exchange in public.
"Kung hindi po sya tatanggalin ni Pangulong Duterte siya mismo ay magkaroon ng delicadeza na magbitiw sa opisina dahil sa kontrobersiyang kinasangkutan niya. It is his duty as a public official na makinig sa ating mga citizens at sa aming appeal na mag resign na po siya," Yu said. (If President Duterte doesn't fire him, he should have the decency to resign because of the controversies he's involved in. It is his duty as a public official to listen to us citizens and to our appeal for him to resign.)
Aguirre has not responded to this recent petition as of posting. – Rappler.com