Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II’s order for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the possible involvement of opposition politicians in an alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte administration is a diversionary tactic and should be dropped, the Liberal Party (LP) said Saturday.
Aguirre's Department Order No. 385 is “absurd and preposterous,” reeks of political harassment and should be revoked, the LP said in a statement.
"We demand that Department Order 385 be revoked and for Aguirre to stop the political harassment of members of Congress and the opposition, even as we continue to study our legal options against him," the opposition party said.
"As justice secretary, Aguirre holds the grave task of upholding the rule of law and administering justice after due process. From the looks of it, however, the justice secretary seems hell-bent on pinning down the political opposition and those critical of him and his administration," it said.
This shows a pattern of “squid tactics,” the LP said, considering Aguirre has himself been embroiled in corruption issues.
On Friday, Aguirre said he ordered the NBI to look into an alleged destabilization plot against the administration involving opposition leaders.
He released the order even as he drew flak for tagging minority senators, including Antonio Trillanes IV and the LP's Bam Aquino, along with Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano and former Aquino administration political adviser Ronald Llamas in stoking terror acts in Marawi City.
Relying on unverified reports, the justice chief said the officials met on May 2 with local leaders in Marawi City, three weeks before clashes broke out. He presented a photograph to the media, but it turned out to be a 2015 photo taken in Iloilo.
Aquino demanded a public apology for the justice secretary’s “reckless accusations.”
On Thursday, Aquino said he spoke with Aguirre, who admitted confusion regarding reports he was getting about the Marawi crisis.