MUNICH, Germany - It’s five degrees C in Munich but I still can feel the heat that stemmed from the Department of Justice prosecutors dismissal of charges against detained drug lords. When I left Manila yesterday, the front pages of newspapers and the social media still carry the scandalous and condemnable story of the decision made last December but only revealed in March. The decision was not only suspect the revelation tells not only of the nonchalance of DOJ Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre but also of his ignorance of what is going on under his department.
If Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte is looking for an enemy and saboteurs of his war on drugs he need not go far. A fuming President issued a stern order to a seemingly oblivious Aguirre to order a review otherwise.... Aguirre who was still attempting to do a Herod’s act complied by directing the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate. I still think however that a parallel probe independent of the DOJ is in order to avoid the suspicion of whitewash.
What got the goat of President Duterte and the ire of the public was the fact that the detained suspects made public confessions of their involvement in drug cartels and in distribution network in a series of congressional hearings on drugs. The investigation aired nationwide in living colors did not only bare the ugly fact that the Bureau of Correction prime state penitentiary was the center of drug distribution in the country, it also provide a steamy account of then DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima’s for-adults-only saga with the high profile inmates and her driver.
Senator De Lima who was detained on order of the Court just recently sought medical leave. With her successor bungling of the drug suspects case she might no longer need that doctor’s attention.
In my hotel room in Munich I viewed what’s what and who that appear on Facebook. There’s a loud cry for President to let go of Aguirre.
I heard from Spox Harry Roque that the President gave him a mouthful. His presence in cabinet meetings will be untenable but it’s all for Aguirre to decide on his fate. He is the captain of his fate and he knows which route to take.
The President is not short of people who are legal luminaries and can surely fight his battle against drugs and drug lords. He has a proven track and backed up with credentials that makes him highly qualified for the job. Members of the Davao media is rooting for him. He is Atty. Ed Batacan. I need not go through the length of his credentials because President Duterte knows him better than anyone. The only problem is whether Batacan would accept a government job. My take is that, if it is President’s order he might relent.
What of Sec. Vit Aguirre? Losing one’s top is not a good health reason to quit, but the right time for quitting is now.