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Aguirre ready to step down, if…

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By the Philippine News Agency

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said he is ready to step down once President Rodrigo R. Duterte tells him (to do) so.

Aguirre made this statement amid calls for him to resign following the dismissal of drug cases against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim and their accomplices.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the sidelines of the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. (RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on the sidelines of the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. (RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Aguirre insisted that he had nothing to do with the dismissal of the drug charges that irked the President and created public affront.

“But even if I have no fault, if the President says it, or I feel (he) no longer has confidence in me, quickly at four o’clock, let’s resign,” Aguirre said during a Palace briefing.

The DOJ chief believes that he still enjoys the trust and confidence of Duterte as the former has been directed to look into the dismissal of the drug cases.

“I talked to our President and I could not feel the whiff of no trust and confidence from him and besides there is no reason why I should resign because I have no sin,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre said he had issued a department order “vacating the dismissal of the case” while creating a new panel that would look into the resolutions that terminated the drug cases.

“So I issued a department order yesterday (March 19) vacating the dismissal of the case so much so that there is no dismissal anymore,” Aguirre told the Palace media.

He said his order has rendered a motion for reconsideration filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) “moot and academic”.

Aguirre said the case is now wide open for submission of all evidence in support of the position of both parties.

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