Senator in 2019? Aguirre says DOJ is his focus for now
MANILA, Philippines – Is Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II interested in running for the Senate?
He's downplaying it now, saying on Monday, November 20, that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is his focus for now. Aguirre was reacting to the statement of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that he wants to add the secretary to the PDP-Laban's senatorial slate for 2019.
"We have a long way to go to improve the DOJ. Napakarami pa po nating puwedeng gawin para mapabuti ang DOJ at ang serbisyo nito sa ating mga kababayan, doon po muna tayo mag-focus (We have so much that we can do to improve DOJ and its services to the people, let's just focus on that for now)," Aguirre said.
When asked if really has plans to run, Aguirre said in a text message to Rappler: "Biro lang 'yon ni Speaker (The Speaker was just joking)." (READ: Get to know Alvarez's 6 nominees to the PDP-Laban 2019 senatorial slate)
Pressed if he's interested, Aguirre issued the statement.
"I am honored by the trust of the Speaker. I am thankful and even humbled by it. However, we serve at the pleasure of the President and his mandate to us is to use the powers of the DOJ to fight the war against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality," he said.
Alvarez said he would ask President Rodrigo Duterte if Aguirre can be added to the slate to help "hasten the passage of laws" at the Senate if elected.
The Speaker earlier named Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque as among those being eyed for the PDP-Laban senatorial slate. – Rappler.com