Aguirre confirmed as Justice Secretary despite Trillanes' opposition

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Commission on Appointments (CA) confirmed on Wednesday the nomination of Vitaliano Aguirre II as the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), despite the opposition of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Sen. Loren Legarda said she wanted Aguirre confirmed because she is concerned by the thousands of Filipinos killed in the drug war.

"If not equally, I am more bothered by it. You owe it to the Filipinos. Senator Trillanes, I share your concerns in deaths that are unexplained," she said.

Sen. Trillanes however said Aguirre will not be able to conduct an impartial probe on the drug killings in the country, as he is always following the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"I am opposing Aguirre's confirmation because I believe based on his actions, involvement in the incidents, he cannot and will not investigate these things because he will just follow orders from his principal who just wants to kill people," he said.

'Aguirre unstable'

Trillanes also doubts the secretary's capacity to take on the job.

Trillanes said it is unbecoming and disrespectful of such a highly-regarded official to result to name-calling, as Aguirre called him a "gagong (stupid) senador (senator)" during a media interview.

"He called me names, insulted my person, my position, and this Senate institution. [It] shows the psychological and emotional instability of Secretary Aguirre in handling such a very sensitive position," Trillanes said.

Aguirre apologized to Trillanes, which the senator accepted.

"Due to the pressure of my work, I might have hurt people with my choice of words. For that I profusely apologize, specifically to Senator Trillanes," Aguirre said.

Aguirre giving special treatment?

Trillanes also raised Aguirre's alleged involvement in the perks given to inmates inside the AFP Custodial Center. The inmates, based on a memo, were supposedly allowed to have electronic gadgets and air-conditioners in exchange for testifying against Sen. Leila De Lima.

Aguirre said this allegation is merely "hearsay" as no proof can be shown that there were electronic gadgets inside the custodial center.

Trillanes also said Aguirre allowed Wally Sombero — Jack Lam's so-called middleman in the alleged P50-million immigration bribery scandal — to fly out of the country despite a lookout bulletin order against the former police official.

Trillanes added Sombero's appearance before the Senate on Thursday is crucial and should first be heard before Aguirre is confirmed.

Trillanes said he is ready to defend his opposition if it means it could stop Aguirre's confirmation.

Following an executive session, the CA en banc confirmed Aguirre's nomination.

CNN Philippines correspondent Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.