Vitaliano Aguirre II

BDO defends request to DOJ over tax cases in Cebu

Mar 21, 2018 - 9:25 PM

BDO Unibank, owned by the Philippines' richest man Henry Sy Sr, argues it has a legal right to request that the Department of Justice designate an acting prosecutor

IN QUESTION. BDO has one of the largest distribution networks, with more than 1,000 operating branches and over 3,000 ATMs nationwide. Photo from Wikipedia

Aguirre: Existing Sandiganbayan charges vs Napoles have ‘defects’

Mar 21, 2018 - 4:27 PM

'It seems that we have discovered defects in the charges in the Sandiganbayan against her. The charges here are plunder, and plunder is a charge against a government official,' says Justice Secretary Aguirre in a mix of English and Filipino

NOT MOST GUILTY. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II believes there is a "most guilty" personality in the pork barrel scam that would qualify Janet Napoles as a state witness.

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, March 21, 2018

Mar 21, 2018 - 1:20 PM

Hello! Here's a roundup of news you need to know this Wednesday.

Cebu Mayor Osmeña threatens disbarment case vs Aguirre

Mar 21, 2018 - 11:59 AM

(UPDATED) This is over BDO Unibank tax cases. But Justice Secretary Aguirre threatens a countersuit, saying the Cebu mayor has no evidence he accepted money from anyone.

BDO CASE. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II finds a foe in Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña over the tax cases that against Banco De Oro (BDO).

Senate recommends bribery, plunder charges vs ex-immigration officials

Mar 20, 2018 - 8:45 PM

The Senate also recommends that Wally Sombero, the alleged associate of Chinese tycoon Jack Lam, be charged with plunder and corruption of public officials

CHARGES. The Senate recommends bribery and plunder charges against two former Immigration commissioners involved in the BI bribery scam. Rappler lile photos

Senate reprimands Aguirre for private meeting with Jack Lam

Mar 20, 2018 - 8:10 PM

The Senate says Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II was 'less than prudent' when he met with individuals who turned out to be allegedly involved in bribery

Sen. Gordon with voluminous documents Photo by Angie de Silva

Aguirre orders fresh investigation vs Lim, Espinosa

Mar 20, 2018 - 12:31 PM

'So much so that there is no dismissal anymore,' says Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II in a Malacañang press briefing

NO DISMISSAL. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announces an order 'vacating the dismissal' of charges against alleged drug lords Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim. File photos by Joseph Vidal, Alecs Ongcal/Rappler, and Ben Nabong/Rappler

Medialdea advised Napoles lawyer on jail transfer

Mar 19, 2018 - 3:25 PM

'[It's] because we are in a situation where we don't know what to do.... That's why we have to consult people in authority,' says Janet Lim Napoles' lawyer Stephen David, defending a meeting in Malacañang

JAIL TRANSFER. Janet Lim Napoles' lawyer Stephen David attends 3 consecutive hearings at Sandiganbayan on March 9, 2018, on the motion to transfer the businesswoman out of her regular jail and into a safehouse. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

Will Napoles be state witness? Spotlight on the Special Prosecutor

Mar 17, 2018 - 8:16 PM

'Malacañang can easily undermine the Special Prosecutor's independent judgment in this case, and force him to drop Napoles as an accused,' says Senator Leila de Lima

ON THE SPOT. Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval is the first recommending authority if Janet Lim-Napoles will indeed be turned as state witness. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

De Lima: Aguirre perfect for Duterte's 'corrupt' gov't

Mar 17, 2018 - 6:06 PM

Senator Leila de Lima also says alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles 'is an ideal witness' for a government that is only interested in silencing dissent

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the sidelines of the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Amid controversies at DOJ, Aguirre says 'no reason to resign'

Mar 16, 2018 - 6:16 PM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II says he and President Rodrigo Duterte have talked since a Department of Justice panel of prosecutors dismissed charges against alleged big-time drug lords

Prosecutor in Peter Lim case 'saddened' by Aguirre’s probe

Mar 15, 2018 - 11:44 AM

‘Sino ba naman ang napakalakas na loob na tao na lalaruin itong ganyang klaseng kaso? Nagrurule lang kami based on evidence,' says former state prosecutor and now Judge Aristotle Reyes

The Department of Justice in a hearing on August 24, 2017. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Where is the NBI in the Peter Lim-Kerwin Espinosa investigation?

Mar 14, 2018 - 8:22 PM

Aguirre often taps the NBI – an agency attached to the DOJ – to conduct comprehensive case buildups in many high-profile cases

DRUG TRADE. Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim is summoned to the DOJ headquarters in Manila on August 24, 2017, as prosecutors conduct a preliminary investigation into drug trade and conspiracy allegations against him. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Bishops hit DOJ for clearing Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa

Mar 14, 2018 - 11:00 AM

'I am dumbfounded,' says Archbishop Socrates Villegas, while Bishop Pablo Virgilio David criticizes the Department of Justice for a 'very selective' due process

'DUMBFOUNDED.' Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas hits the 'insulting' DOJ decision dismissing drug charges against Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Aguirre orders probe vs prosecutors who cleared Lim, Espinosa

Mar 14, 2018 - 9:19 AM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II issues the order 3 months after his panel of prosecutors recommended the dismissal of charges against alleged drug lords Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa

INVESTIGATION. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II asks the NBI to investigate his prosecutors over the dismissal of charges against Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

Duterte to review dismissal of Lim, Espinosa drug charges

Mar 13, 2018 - 8:45 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte also threatens repercussions if the dismissal of the drug charges against Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa is affirmed

Aguirre: No proof of human intervention in MRT3 train detachment

Mar 13, 2018 - 3:20 PM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II says the detachment of a train coach in November 2017 was 'purely accidental'

HQ. NBI, PNP, and AFP holds a press conference at the NBI Headquarters on March 12, 2018. Photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

NBI claims initial ruling on Rappler cyber libel case 'prematurely disclosed'

Mar 12, 2018 - 5:00 PM

The National Bureau of Investigation said on February 22 that it junked the case after finding 'no basis,' but days later, transmitted it to the Department of Justice

BACKTRACKING? Rappler CEO Maria Ressa arrives at the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila. File photo by Noel Celis/AFP

Hontiveros slams Pimentel for giving staff info, Senate CCTV to Aguirre

Feb 19, 2018 - 6:40 PM

But Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III says the data given to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, including the CCTV videos of the different areas of the Senate, are part of public records


Foreign expert needed for Dengvaxia victims' autopsies – DOJ

Feb 07, 2018 - 6:25 PM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II says he will emphasize to President Rodrigo Duterte the need for a clinical pathologist

[OPINION | Newspoint] The conscience of our time

Feb 03, 2018 - 11:00 AM

Leila de Lima’s story bears constant retelling. Her trials are our trials, her tragedy is our tragedy.

Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras passes away

Jan 21, 2018 - 1:20 PM

'We mourn the the sudden demise of Chief State Counsel Ricardo "Dickie" Paras III this morning,' says Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

CHIEF STATE COUNSEL. Chief state counsel Ricardo Paras during a Judicial and Bar Council interview session, during the search for the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. PTV screenshot

'People's right to know rests on press freedom' – PCIJ

Jan 20, 2018 - 8:14 PM

'We want to offer you this discussion because it's not only about the media but it's also about people's rights,' says Malou Mangahas, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

RIGHT TO KNOW. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) Executive Director Malou Mangahas spoke at the Black Friday rally in Quezon City on January 19, 2017. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

DOJ can now probe Rappler’s criminal liability – Calida

Jan 16, 2018 - 3:16 PM

The Solicitor General says he's not investigating any other entity 'unless you want me to do what I did in December 2016.' – the time he request SEC to probe Rappler

The House of Representatives Committee on Justice hearing on the alledged bribery inside the National Bilibid Prison at the Andaya Hall on September 20, 2016.

Valenzuela court clears 5 in importation of P6.4-B shabu

Jan 11, 2018 - 7:10 PM

It seems there are a lot of hurdles to getting accountability in the smuggling of shabu from China to the Philippines, and a lot of them has to do with limitations set by the law

The Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) on August 9, 2017 resumes its public hearing on the P6.4B worth of shabu smuggled at the Bureau of Customs in May. Photo by Joseph Vidal

Aguirre orders probe into alleged sale of firearms to NPA

Jan 09, 2018 - 5:13 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte gives the instruction to Aguirre during a cabinet meeting

WEAPON OF CHOICE. A New People's Army rebel with an AK-47. File photo by Edwin Espejo

Justice dep't launches criminal probe after deadly Davao mall fire

Dec 25, 2017 - 1:25 PM

(UPDATED) Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II announces the inquiry as the government raises the toll from the NCCC mall fire in Davao to one dead and 38 missing

MALL FIRE. Firefighters try to contain the fire that hit the NCCC Mall in Davao City on December 23, 2017. Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Aquino, Garin, 7 others on immigration lookout over Dengvaxia

Dec 24, 2017 - 12:45 AM

The immigration lookout bulletin order comes after Gabriela filed a graft complaint stemming from the dengue immunization program that began during the Aquino administration

Aguirre orders PAO to assist families of Dengvaxia vaccine recipients

Dec 19, 2017 - 8:55 PM

Parents of two girls who died months after getting the dengue vaccine file affidavits before the Department of Justice

Parents of 11yr old Christine Mae De Guzman and father (in yellow) of 10yr old Anjielica Pestilos, children who allegedly died after receiving the school-based Dengvaxia immunisation program of the DOH, is accompanied by PAO chief Persida Acosta as they meet and inquire with DOJ secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III for possible cases they can file against the people involved before the DOJ in Manila on December 19, 2017.  Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

DOJ cancels bail of Tiamzons, 7 other NDF consultants

Dec 07, 2017 - 9:10 PM

Justice Secretary Aguirre also signs a Department Order directing prosecutors to take the necessary steps pursuant to Duterte's proclamation


DOJ brings back NBI power to investigate drug cases

Dec 06, 2017 - 9:43 PM

The NBI's involvement in case buildups was revoked before by an order of President Rodrigo Duterte, preventing it from probing the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu from China

Dengvaxia probe, US-SoKor joint military drill, Ateneo Blue Eagles | Midday wRap

Dec 04, 2017 - 2:27 PM

Watch Rappler’s midday newscast with Acor Arceo

DOJ to probe dengue vaccine controversy

Dec 03, 2017 - 2:18 PM

'Everybody who has some involvement will be included and appropriate charges will be filed against them if warranted,' says Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II

DENGVAXIA. The world's first anti-dengue vaccine is administered to Filipino grade-schoolers under the government's school-based dengue immunization program. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

Did Sereno use Aguirre to limit martial law scope in Mindanao?

Nov 28, 2017 - 12:53 PM

Cebu 3rd District Representative Gwen Garcia asks the justice secretary if Sereno's request to downplay the danger posed by the Maute trial being held in Cagayan de Oro gave her basis for her vote on martial law coverage in Mindanao

Witness DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre during the continuation of the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. DARREN LANGIT

DOJ puts Singson, Abad on immigration lookout over P8.7-billion road scam

Nov 27, 2017 - 6:00 PM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II also names a witness to the alleged scam – Roberto Catapang Jr

ROAD SCAM PROBE. Former Aquino executives, Florencio Abad and Rogelio Singson, are tagged in an ongoing multi-billion probe into an alleged road right of way scam.

Aguirre: Duterte’s drug war memo bars NBI from investigating Faeldon

Nov 24, 2017 - 3:54 PM

'Mag-aral muna kayo,' Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II tells senators criticizing the DOJ panel's decision to dismiss the complaint against former Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon stemming from a P6.4-billion shabu shipment

LACKING COMPLAINT. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II passes the buck to PDEA for filing a lacking complaint that led to the dismissal of charges against former Customs commissioner Nicanor Faeldon in the smuggled P6.4 billion drug shipment. Photo by Lian Buan/Rappler

Aguirre tags Singson, Abad in P8.7-B road scam

Nov 24, 2017 - 1:43 PM

'The accusation is baseless and therefore not true. I and the DBM were never part of the negotiations for that transaction,' says former budget chief Florencio Abad

ROAD SCAM PROBE. Former Aquino executives, Florencio Abad and Rogelio Singson, are tagged in an ongoing multi-billion probe into an alleged road right of way scam.

Aguirre orders NBI to probe Aquino, DAP

Nov 24, 2017 - 10:25 AM

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II orders the National Bureau of Investigation to form a special task force to handle the investigation on former president Benigno Aquino III and the Disbursement Acceleration Program

NBI to probe detached MRT train as sabotage angle floated

Nov 21, 2017 - 3:10 PM

The Department of Transportation floats the idea that the incident may be a case of 'sabotage'

DETACHED. Commuters walked to MRT3 Buendia station from Ayala station as a train coach got detached from its body on Thursday, November 16. Photo by Gio Manlangit

Senator in 2019? Aguirre says DOJ is his focus for now

Nov 20, 2017 - 8:22 PM

The justice secretary downplays Speaker Alvarez's announcement that he can be added to the PDP-Laban's senatorial slate for 2019

DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre shows to the members of the media the case filed against Senator Leila De Lima and others in connection with the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during a press conference at the NBI headquarters in Manila on February 17, 2017. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Alvarez wants Aguirre in PDP-Laban's 2019 Senate lineup

Nov 20, 2017 - 4:50 PM

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II can 'hasten the passage of laws' if he becomes a senator

SENATE BET? PDP-Laban secretary-general and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wants the justice secretary to run for senator in 2019. File photo by Lito Boras/ SENATE BET? PDP-Laban secretary-general and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wants the justice secretary to run for senator in 2019. File photo by Lito Boras/

LOOK: 10 years after chairing ASEAN, Arroyo keeps it presidential

Nov 11, 2017 - 9:15 PM

With President Duterte still in Vietnam, his predecessor Gloria Macapagal Arroyo hosts the welcome dinner for Cambodia's Hun Sen and Myanmar's Suu Kyi

PRESIDENTIAL. Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo looks every bit presidential in the welcome dinner she hosted for Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. All photos are screengrabs from RTVM feed

Drug claims vs Roxas, Drilon part of admin's diversionary tactic – LP

Oct 26, 2017 - 11:05 AM

'This latest drug allegation against prominent members of Partido Liberal clearly proves that this administration is going all-out to demonize the party in the eyes of the public,' the party says

DOJ to act on drug suspect's affidavit tagging Roxas, Drilon

Oct 25, 2017 - 9:44 PM

Roxas calls it a 'poor and laughable attempt at fake news'

TOP DRUG SUSPECT. Ricky Serenio, photographed here inside Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr in Bacolod City in January, is now out on bail on multiple charges that do not include drugs. Photo by Marchel Espina/Rappler

Gordon hits Aguirre for ‘cavalier’ attitude in smuggled P6.4B drug shipment

Oct 11, 2017 - 12:28 PM

'That’s his opinion but I vehemently deny that because his observations are without any basis, except for the fact that I have many things to do,' says Justice Secretary Aguirre

CAVALIER? Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II attends the Senate hearing on the drugs shipment issue on September 19, 2017, where Senator Richard Gordon says he displayed a 'cavalier' attitude. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Ex-BI officials in Jack Lam bribery avoid plunder with missing P1,000

Oct 10, 2017 - 7:00 PM

The two former Immigration deputy commissioners, Michael Robles and Al Argosino, are fraternity brothers of President Rodrigo Duterte and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II

DOJ offers witness protection to hazing suspect Ralph Trangia

Oct 10, 2017 - 11:35 AM

'Hopefully, Mr Trangia’s return is covered in good intentions to clear his name and to tell the truth,' says Justice Secretary Aguirre

RETURN. Ralph Trangia, suspect in the case of slain UST Law student Horacio Castillo III, arrives at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Pasay City on October 10, 2017. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Ralph Trangia, suspect in Castillo hazing death, returning to PH

Oct 09, 2017 - 11:09 PM

Trangia, who left the Philippines for the United States on September 21, will be returning Tuesday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II says

RETURNING. Ralph Trangia, a suspect in the slay case of fraternity member Horacio Castillo III, is scheduled to return to the Philippines.

PH to start extradition process for alleged New York plotter

Oct 08, 2017 - 4:55 PM

(UPDATED) Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II says the Philippine government will act on the request of US authorities for the extradition of suspect Russell Salic

Lacson says texting not covered by Anti-Wiretapping Law

Oct 02, 2017 - 5:24 PM

'Hindi covered ang mga ganoon... Maraming di covered kaya dapat talaga i-expand ang scope and coverage,' says Senator Panfilo Lacson when asked if text messages are covered by the law

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs conducts a public inquiry on the death of Albuerra, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. on November 10, 2016.