MANILA - Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday admitted that former Immigration officials Al Argosino and Michael Robles may have told him that they had the alleged bribe money from gambling tycoon Jack Lam.
Senator Bam Aquino told a Senate hearing that Aguirre and Argosino denied that the secretary was told about the alleged bribe try, and asked if they are retracting their statements.
Argosino maintained that he must have told Aguirre that there was money but he may have failed to disclose that it was P18 million.
"I think the amount, I may not have mentioned the exact amount, but I have already informed him of some details regarding the amount in our possession," he said.
Aguirre, for his part, initially said his recollection is "hazy," but he would not refute Argosino's statement in the meantime.
But Aquino insisted that what Aguirre knew is important to the investigation. Aguirre then gave a firmer answer.
"After recollecting that, I believe that they told me, but I really could not say whether the exact amount has been mentioned. On December 9," he said.
The Blue Ribbon Committee resumed the hearing the bribery scandal on Thursday. Committee Chair Senator Richard Gordon said it would the last legislative hearing on the matter.
"When we adjourn this hearing and submit a committee report, I am not going to schedule another hearing just to hear more lies," he said. "This is your last chance to tell the truth. This is an opportunity for you to explain your positions."