Senator Leila de Lima said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s criminal complaint against Senator Risa Hontiveros shows the “perversion of the justice system” which she branded as “Aguirre-style.”
“Aguirre filing a personal case against Sen. Hontiveros with an office under his direct control and supervision shows the extent of the perversion of the justice system under the Duterte regime,” De Lima said in a statement on Tuesday.
The detained senator said the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaint is under the direct control and supervision of Aguirre as justice secretary.
“In a true sense, Aguirre will be the judge of his own accusation against Sen. Hontiveros. This is justice now in the Philippines, Aguirre-style,” she added.
On Monday, Aguirre filed charges against Hontiveros at the Pasay Prosecutors Office, alleging that she violated Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Law after she showed to the public a photograph of his text exchange with a certain “Cong. Jing.”
De Lima slammed Aguirre’s ethical and moral standards and noted: “In the first place, it was Aguirre who was caught – in plain public view during a televised Senate hearing no less – plotting against the senator. Against all laws on anti-graft, ethics, and moral standards for public officers, Aguirre instructed former Cong. Paras to file trumped-up charges against the senator, again, with his office.”
De Lima said Aguirre should be criminally charged before the Ombudsman.
According to De Lima, this offense added to the list of criminal acts Aguirre already accused of in the complaint she filed with the Ombudsman.
According to De Lima, even if the text message flashed in large font on his mobile phone “in a public hall full of media cameras was private, its display in plain view in a public place does not make it inadmissible evidence.”
“Definitely it is not covered under the Anti-Wiretapping Law, because conversations overheard without the use of devices but merely out of the carelessness and stupidity of the conversing parties, is not wiretapping,” De Lima added.