JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has called "irresponsible" the claims of Senator Leila De Lima that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is expediting the release of the warrant of arrest against her in connection to her alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
"It is totally erroneous. It is a very irresponsible statement coming from a former Secretary of Justice," Aguirre said in a statement.
According to Aguirre, De Lima knows that it's not DOJ that issues arrest warrants but the courts.
"As a lawyer and as a former Secretary of Justice, she should know that the DOJ does not issue warrants of arrest. Consequently, it is totally irresponsible of her to announce that the DOJ is expediting the issuance of such warrants. That is a blatant lie and a total misinformation," Aguirre said.
De Lima earlier in the day said she expects an arrest warrant against her to be out soon as the DOJ will file the charges against her before a trial court instead of the Office of the Ombudsman.
"Imbis ipadala sa Ombudsman, kasi 'yun ang tamang may jurisdiction, ididiretso nga nila sa regular courts para makakuha ng arrest warrant," De Lima said.
The DOJ did not grant the senator's earlier request for them to forward the case to the Ombudsman, the office that has jurisdiction over cases filed against government officials.
The senator sought relief from the Court of Appeals after the DOJ rejected her plea for inhibition. The CA is yet to decide on her petition.
Aguirre in a press conference last Friday said the arrest warrant against De Lima will be out this week.
The case is connection with the alleged involvement of De Lima in the illegal drugs trading inside the New Bilibid Prison. (SunStar Philippines)