Aguirre won't resign, blasts Hontiveros for exposing private text messages

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2017 04:44 PM | Updated as of Sep 12 2017 11:14 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said he will not resign from his post as long as he has the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

This, amid Senator Risa Hontiveros' call for Aguirre to quit, alleging the secretary of using his position to harass opposition senators by threatening them with lawsuits.

"For as long as I enjoy the confidence of President Duterte who appointed me, I will continue serving as the steward of your DOJ," he said in a statement released Tuesday. 

Aguirre also cried foul over Hontiveros' move to publicize his text messages to a Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption member.

He said he is considering filing criminal, civil, and administrative charges against those involved.

"I am considering all my options open. I could file criminal, civil and administrative cases against all persons responsible," Aguirre said in a separate statement.

Hontiveros on Monday quoted Aguirre's text instructing VACC member and former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto Paras to fast-track cases against her. 

A photographer caught an image of Aguirre texting the VACC member while attending a Senate probe on the slay of Kian Delos Santos.

"I condemn to the highest degree this shameless violation of a citizen's right to the privacy of communications," said Aguirre.

He claimed that revealing his private text messages is a violation of the anti-wiretapping law and said other people attending Senate probes can be "victimized" too.

"If in driving, we do not drink and drive; in attending inquiries of our Congress, the lesson learned is we do not talk and text," he said.--report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News