De Lima files criminal, administrative charges vs. Aguirre

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Sec. Aguirre says Sen. De Lima pocketed billions from the alleged illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 13) — Sen. Leila de Lima filed on Thursday criminal and administrative complaints against Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre before the Ombudsman, citing his alleged negligence in investigating extrajudicial killings, and alleged falsification of criminal raps, among others.

De Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, is currently detained at Camp Crame for drug-related charges.

In her complaint, the senator said Aguirre "failed to investigate and prosecute more than 7,000 drug war-related extrajudicial killings."

De Lima, former Justice secretary during the Aquino administration, also cited cases of extrajudicial killings, which she said started even before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office.

"Even before President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was sworn into office, cases of drug-related extra-judicial killings already started to rise as early as immediately after the May 2016 Elections," she said.

She added Aguirre failed to hastily prosecute those involved in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) corruption scandal, "thereby giving unwarranted privileges and benefits to both the bribers and receivers."

De Lima also said Aguirre "fabricated charges against and maliciously prosecuted" her.

She added the Justice secretary repeatedly made slanderous comments before the media against her.

"Respondent used the whole DOJ (Department of Justice) machinery to orchestrate and execute the malicious prosecution of complainant as the alleged leader of the New Bilibid Prison drug lords, based on the testimonies of convicted drug lords, as well as the coerced statements of former DOJ officials and employees," De Lima said.

Lastly, De Lima accused Aguirre of throwing accusations of criminal wrongdoing and conspiracies with baseless information.

She cited cases of Aguirre falsely accusing parties in connection with the BI corruption scandal, the Marawi crisis, the kidnap-slay case of Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo, and the attack on Resorts World Manila.

She added the Justice secretary should be "adjudged guilty of the administrative charges for dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, grave misconduct, oppression, inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of official duties, and conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of the service."