LP: Aguirre ‘investigation’ of opposition figures meant to divert attention from hard issues

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Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II: too many reckless accusations, says Sen. Antonio Trillanes. PNA file)

MANILA – The Liberal Party said Tuesday the threat of prosecution of key opposition members by the Justice secretary is a “sorry, hardly unbiased attempt” to divert attention away from corruption, drug smuggling and extra-judicial killings – issues in which the Duterte administration has been mired the past several months.

Reacting to reported remarks by Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre that the bank accounts of key leaders of the opposition are being scrutinized – presumably for possible prosecution for unexplained wealth – the Liberal Party issued a statement saying it will “not be cowed,” as “we have been through worse.”

Part of the statement said: “We consider the threat of persecution– especially from a Secretary whose resignation we have openly called for– a sorry, hardly unbiased attempt to divert the public’s attention away from these issues.”
It cited, among others, such issues: “drug smuggling and corruption allegations against those close to the President and the murder of minors and innocents by instruments of the state,” and said its “core values of integrity and people-centeredness . . . compel us to speak up” on these matters.

Despite the threat, LP said, “we are proud to stand for our values, regardless of what the administration chooses to label us.”