MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Saturday he is ready to face the criminal and administrative complaint filed by detained Senator Leila de Lima against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.
”I will face her accusations against me in any forum. I will follow what our laws or rules state on jurisdiction and will not challenge it because I know I have not done anything wrong,” Aguirre said in a statement.
De Lima cited in her complaint Aguirre’s supposed inaction on killings linked to the administration’s war on drugs despite the DOJ’s mandate to investigate and prosecute criminals.
The senator said she has “reliable information” from the DOJ that Aguirre supposedly issued a directive to the National Prosecution Service instructing prosecutors not to file charges against any law enforcement official over the war on drugs.
De Lima, in her 27-page complaint, said Aguirre must be investigated for supposed violation of several provisions of the Revised Penal Code, such as negligence in prosecution and toleration of criminal offenses (Article 208), grave coercion (Article 286), use of falsified documents (Article 172.2), offering of false testimony (Article 184) and usurpation of legislative powers (Article 239).
She added that Aguirre must be investigated for allegedly violating Republic Act 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
But Aguirre said he can contest de Lima’s allegation with evidence.
”She is just trying to be relevant. Unlike her, who has consistently anchored her defense on bare denials and nothing more, we can refute her accusations with well-established proof of actions taken,” he noted.
De Lima was arrested and detained on drug trafficking charges filed against her by the DOJ for allegedly benefiting from the illegal trade at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.