NUJP: Aguirre lied, was not misquoted

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Vitaliano Aguirre
DOJ chief Vitaliano Aguirre mistakenly uses a microphone in answering his wife's cellphone call on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. In 2012, then private lawyer Aguirre cupped his ears with his hands as Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago was criticizing the prosecutors of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) said in a statement that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre’s recent accusation of a destabilization plot attributed to opposition politicians, on which he claimed to have been misquoted, was actually a lie.

“No, Mr. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, we the media will not be the scapegoats as you try to weasel your way out of your latest bout of foot-in-mouth disease.

“You lie when you claim you were ‘misquoted’ when you lied about the fictitious meeting between opposition politicians and prominent Marawi clans, which you then attempted to portray as a prelude to the ongoing battle between government forces and extremist gunmen.

“There was no misquotation. Your words were recorded on video and audio.

“So, no, you are not passing the buck on to reporters who did what they are supposed to do – accurately report your official acts and pronouncements.”

NUJP said it is bad enough “that you have shown no qualms about throwing the law, the truth and justice out the window in your headlong rush to persecute – sorry, prosecute – perceived foes of the administration.

“But trying to blame others for your blunders unmasks you as a mean-spirited coward.”