Aguirre vows to continue anti-corruption mandate in New Year message

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2017 01:28 PM

The Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Duterte administration vows "to continue to pursue its anti-drug, anti-crime and anti-corruption mandate."

This is the new year's message of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

"We will pursue our reform oriented initiatives in the DOJ with determination and we will serve the people with new found dedication and vigor," Aguirre said in a message sent to justice beat reporters.

Upon his assumption into office, Aguirre vowed to execute President Rodrigo Duterte's three-pronged order to the justice department. 

Under his watch, an investigation into the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) drug trade was conducted which revealed the alleged collusion of DOJ and prison officials with high-profile inmates in the sale of methamphetamine hydrochloride ("shabu"). 

Also in December, a series of raids by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), an attached agency of the department, yielded P6-billion worth of high-grade "shabu," the biggest drug haul in the Philippines to date.

The justice chief also recommended the sacking of Associate Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), another attached agency of the DOJ, due to a P50-million payoff involving gambling tycoon Jack Lam. 

The dismissed officials are fraternity brothers of Aguirre and Pres. Duterte at San Beda College of Law's Lex Talionis Fraternitas.