Duterte reiterates trust in Aguirre despite Napoles admission into govt witness program


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte late Wednesday night reiterated his trust in Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, who is currently in hot water after he agreed to admit alleged “pork barrel queen” Janet Lim-Napoles into the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Speaking before thousands of supporters during the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) national convention in Pasay City, Duterte said that he would put everything in the hands of Aguirre.

“Si Vit Aguirre — sabi ko, “bakit nasabit na naman siya dito kay Napoles?” [laughter] Eh diskarte ‘yan niya eh,” Duterte said.

(Vit Aguirre… I told [him], “Why is he is in hot water over Napoles?” That is his call.)

Last week, Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Jr. revealed that Duterte was planning to revamp the Cabinet.

While Duterte did not name the Cabinet secretaries who would be affected by the revamp, speculations were rife that one of those who would be axed was Aguirre, especially after he dismissed the drug charges against alleged drug lords Peter Lim, Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Co.

Roque said the President punched a wall in Malacanang out of frustration because of the dismissal.

However, Roque said that Aguirre still “enjoyed the full trust and confidence” of the President, as long as he remained part of the Cabinet.

Aguirre, in a press briefing on Tuesday, said that he would step down from his post if the President no longer trusted him. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA



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