Aguirre fires back at De Lima for 'mediocre lawyer' tag


Posted at Jan 10 2017 01:33 PM | Updated as of Jul 05 2017 06:50 PM

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Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday assailed Senator Leila de Lima's track record as an attorney after the latter dubbed him as a "mediocre lawyer." 

"She called me a mediocre lawyer. Ano naman kaya ang kanyang napanalunang kaso na kahanga-hanga? Wala akong naririnig kahit isa," Aguirre told radio DZMM. 

(She called me a mediocre lawyer. What stellar case has she ever won? I've not heard of even a single one.) 

De Lima, a prominent lawyer before joining government, called Aguirre a "mediocre lawyer" last week and lambasted him for supposedly turning the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the personal persecution team of his ally, President Rodrigo Duterte. 

On Monday, she also called for a legislative inquiry into the alleged bribery attempt involving Aguirre, gambling tycoon Jack Lam and several officials of the Bureau of Immigration (BI). 

The Justice secretary said De Lima is free to pursue any investigation, but reminded the senator that he himself bared the bribery controversy. 

"Malaya po siyang magpa-imbestiga. Pero ipapaalala ko lang po sa kanya na one day pagkatapos ng pagtangkang suhulan, ako na mismo ang nagbulgar," he said. 

(She is free to investigate. But I'd remind her that I revealed the bribery attempt a day after it happened.)

Aguirre earlier claimed that THE Macau-based Lam, through his representative Wally Sombero, offered him a huge bribe for the release of over 1,300 allegedly undocumented Chinese workers who were working in an illegal online casino in Pampanga. He said he refused the businessman's offer. 

Lam, through Sombero, also allegedly gave P50 milllion to BI deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles, both fraternity brothers of Duterte and Aguirre. 

Argosino and Robles said they only kept P30 million of the full amount as "evidence" in their intelligence operation against Lam. 

They said the remaining P20 million went to Sombero and BI intelligence chief Charles Calima, who got P2 million and P18 million respectively. 

Argosino and Robles have since been sacked by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte and are now facing plunder charges.