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‘Wig kang pasaway’: Youth group calls for Aguirre’s resignation

Aside from picketing in front of the DOJ, the group submitted a petition for Justice Secretary Aguirre to resign. Youth Resist, release

MANILA, Philippines —  A youth group on Wednesday went to the Department of Justice to call for the immediate resignation of Justice Secretary Vitalliano Aguirre II.

Donning colorful wigs, members of Youth Resist chanted “Wig kang pasaway,” as they demanded Aguirre’s resignation for allegedly spreading fake news and for derailing the justice system.

“We are here to call for Secretary of Justice Aguirre to resign because we believe that he’s unfit for office,” one of the protesters said.

The group also submitted a petition for Aguirre to quit. Attached to the petition is a print-out of an online petition for Aguirre’s resignation on Change.org. The online petition, which was also started by Youth Resist, has already drummed up more than 17,000 supporters as of Wednesday..

Aguirre is unlikely to heed the petition.

"Let me say for the nth time that for as long as I have the trust and for as long as I enjoy the confidence of President (Rodrigo) Duterte who appointed me, I will continue serving our people as the steward of your DOJ," he said last week

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The petition came after a series of controversies involving Aguirre, whom Sen. Risa Hontiveros has accused of being caught in a photo texting a member of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption to fast track cases against her. The text message exchange was seen in a photo taken during a Senate hearing into the death of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos in a Caloocan City police operation.

During a privilege speech, Hontiveros blasted Aguirre for “undermining the justice system” and said that the exchange of text messages revealed a connivance between the Justice secretary and former Negros Oriental Rep. Jacinto "Jing" Paras, now with VACC.

Aguirre did not deny sending text messages to Paras, but has said that his rights had been violated.

"Text messages are private communications. Any unauthorized intrusion into such exchanges is illegal and betrays the Constitution. I condemn to the highest degree this shameless violation of a citizen's right to the privacy of communication," Aguirre said last week.

"We should be scared. If they can do it to me, they can do it to anybody even to the senators themselves," Aguirre, who claims to have watched an alleged sex video of Sen. Leila De Lima as part of building a case against her, said. De Lima has denied the drug charges against her as well as the existence of any videos.

Hontiveros also called on the Justice secretary, whom she has tagged as a “fake news king.”

Youth Resist said in its petition that: “Aguirre has consistently derailed justice for the youth victims of Duterte’s policy to kill with his fake news. His failures include his spreading of fake news accusing Senator Sonny Trillanes and Senator Bam Aquino of brewing up the Marawi crisis. His office also downgraded the case against the cops who killed Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa inside his jail cell. Aguirre also met with Jack Lam in a hotel at The Fort who is facing numerous cases.”

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