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Jun 15, 2017
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Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II is back on the hot seat after recently making false claims that linked three lawmakers to the ongoing Marawi City siege.

The issue started when Aguirre suggested that Senators Bam Aquino, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano might be involved in the planning of the situation. He even showed a photo where Trillanes and Alejano apparently met with individuals from prominent Moro families from Marawi.

Unfortunately for Aguirre, the 'evidence' he flashed to the media turned out to be an old photo taken back in 2015. Now, the confused secretary seems to be backtracking on his statements after the gaffe.

Meanwhile, Sen. Risa Hontiveros has already labeled him the 'Fake News King' following these events.

Needless to say, Aguirre—with his position as justice chief—should present himself as a role model for neutrality. However, he has occasionally displayed lapses where he went out of line against members of the opposition.

Here are some instances:


1) Aguirre vs De Lima

It’s pretty obvious that Aguirre and Sen. Leila de Lima, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration who also happens to be the current justice secretary's predecessor, aren't too fond of each other. Just watch this heated exchange between them during a Senate hearing.


2) Aguirre's 'arrest' joke

After De Lima's incarceration in February, Aguirre attended a pro-Duterte rally, where he asked the crowd who they wanted to get arrested next. The people chanted, "Trillanes."

Due to this, Aguirre was questioned by other senators for his partisan actions, which he said was just a joke.

3) Aguirre vs Robredo

In January, Aguirre commented on the #LeniLeaks issue that tagged Vice President Leni Robredo along with Fil-Am billionare Loida Nicolas-Lewis in a supposed ouster plot against president Duterte. He believed Robredo stayed in Nicolas-Lewis' home in a visit to the US last year. This has been denied by the vice president who called Aguirre a liar.


4) Aguirre's 'ambush' claim

Also in January, Aguirre told the media that the wife of one of the high-profile inmates who testified against De Lima was ambushed. However, the Philippine National Police denied such incident.


5) Aguirre on Korean mafia

During a Senate hearing regarding the Jee Ick Joo slay case in February, Aguirre cited a high ranking government official and pointed the finger at a supposed Korean mafia that already had a wide reach in the Philippines. 

 

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