MANILA, Philippines — Members of the senate minority have expressed support to the call of Sen. Risa Hontiveros for Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to resign from his post.
On Monday, Hontiveras said that Aguirre's continued occupation as Secretary of Justice is a "vulgar insult."
Hontiveros also claimed that Aguirre has been conniving with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption to build a case against her.
Sens. Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino, Leila de Lima, Kiko Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV noted that the recent developments highlight his "unethical actions as a public official."
"Now, he has been caught red-handed plotting against a sitting Senator during a hearing where he is supposed to be paying his utmost attention," the minority senators said in a statement.
The minority senators have earlier called for Aguirre's resignation following his spreading of fake information on individuals he tagged as "dilawan."
"His actions signify a lack of competence for a man who holds the highest office on justice. His actions clearly violate the norms of conduct for public officials under the law," the statement read.
In her privilege speech Monday afternoon, Hontiveros revealed a photo showing a text message exchange on the phone of Aguirre.
“Babasahin ko po ang nakalagay. "Text ng Kausap niya: ‘Naturuan na ni Hontiveros ang testigo. Her questions are leading questions.’ Reply ni Sec. Agurre: ‘Yon nga sinasabi ko dito. Very obvious. Kaya nga expedite natin ang cases niyo vs her," Hontiveros quoted Aguirre.
Last July, youth group Millennials Against Dictators filed a collective administrative ethics complaint against Aguirre for allegedly violating Republic Act 6713, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Official and Employees, when he issued false allegations against several politicians and individuals.