‘No selective justice in Duterte administration’
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There will be no selective justice under the administration of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte, according to Vitaliano Aguirre Jr., who has been selected as the next justice chief.

Aguirre reiterated the plan of the Duterte administration to cleanse the government of corrupt officials regardless of affiliations.

“Under the Duterte administration, corruption in the bureaucracy will not be tolerated,” he told The STAR.

Aguirre, law school classmate and fraternity brother of Duterte, said the incoming president is aware of criticisms against the supposed selective justice under the Aquino administration.

Various sectors have slammed the Aquino government for pursuing corruption cases against members of the opposition, including Sens. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., who were indicted over the pork barrel fund scam.

They said the outgoing government was not as keen on pursuing similar cases against administration allies.

The Department of Justice has recommended the indictment of former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director general Joel Villanueva over the Priority Development Assistance Fund anomaly.

The Office of the Ombudsman has yet to indict Villanueva and he even won in the May 9 senatorial elections.

Aguirre noted that Duterte’s campaign promise was a change in governance, which they believe resonated well with the people.

“This victory is an expression of protest against the present government. The people have lost the patience they kept for so many years,” he said.

“In the past years, those elected to power would make promises during campaign but would not fulfill them once in office. And this system has not changed,” he added.

Aguirre said he would pursue the investigation and case building of the PDAF cases.

“The initial marching order is very general. But we will prioritize the prosecution of graft and corruption cases as well as drugs and heinous crimes,” he revealed.

Aguirre said Duterte has not given instructions yet as to which specific pending cases should be prioritized.

Among the cases pending with the DOJ are the criminal charges against 90 commanders and members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and private armed groups tagged in the killing of Special Action Force commandos in Mamasapano last year.

The DOJ is currently investigating a money laundering case that stemmed from the $80.9 million stolen by hackers from the Bangladesh Bank and laundered in the country. – With Jess Diaz

 

                               

 

 

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