Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo has warned Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd and Congress against peddling falsehoods and defying courts, respectively, saying that it erodes public trust in government.
Robredo made the warning in connection with Aguirre’s recent booboo wherein he falsely claimed that opposition lawmakers, namely Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Antonio Trillanes 4th and Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list were conspiring with the terrorist group Maute in attacking Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
“We have a Department of Justice who has said falsehoods. That is dangerous because the Department of Justice should be at the forefront of delivering justice. When he lies, people won’t trust government institutions,” Robredo told reporters in a chance interview in Batangas.
Aguirre was apparently referring to a photo of Trillanes and Alejano in Iloilo International Airport in 2015.
Aquino was in Marawi recently for a Go Negosyo event.
“It is not his [Aguirre] credibility at stake. Its the credibility of the insitution,” Robredo said.
Since then, Aguirre has apologized for his actions.
The Vice President called on leaders of both the House of Representatives and the Senate not to take matters in their own hands by respecting the Constitution.
“Our Constitution has enough provisions on separation of powers, checks and balances. But lately, there are a lot of instances when everybody challenges the power of somebody,” Robredo said.
“We have heard a lot of people expressing defiance of the court,” she added.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte and Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd earlier said they won’t comply with the Supreme Court if it orders Congress to convene in a joint session to discuss the merits or lack of them of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law and suspension of the writ of habeas corpus (allowing warrantless arrests) in Mindanao because of terror attacks launched by the Maute Group in Marawi City.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte has said the House also won’t comply with the Court of Appeals ruling ordering the release of six Ilocos Norte officials accused by Fariñas of misusing P66 million in tobacco funds and giving evasive answers during a congressional inquiry.
“If the government instrumentalities do not believe what is stated in the Constitution, that puts the country at risk because democracy is being challenged,” Robredo, a lawyer, said.
“Given this situation, we need to have the resolve to work together in ensuring that democracy will be guarded and our institutions will stand up for protecting our rights,” she added.