Thursday, May 19, 2016

Incoming Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

Duterte’s new Justice Secretary is Atty Vitaliano Aguirre.

He is a fraternity brod and law classmate of Duterte at San Beda College.

Aguirre was the lawyer of Hubert Webb who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the gruesome Vizconde Massacre case.

He was a private prosecutor in the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona who was convicted for  fraudulently misdeclaring his Statements of Asset, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) by the Senate.

He is the current lawyer of Gen. Napenas, who is facing criminal cases before the Office of the Ombudsman arising out of the infamous Mamasapano Massacre which resulted in the death of 44 elite PNP SAF personnel.

He has more than 44 years of litigation and appellate experience since his admission to the Bar in 1971.

I wish Aguirre well as Justice Secretary.

I hope he will not have a hard time working with and advising his President because Duterte is an impulsive, inconsistent, hot-headed, foul-mouth and narcissistic person who thinks, speaks and acts like a violent local feudal warlord.


Aguirre and I first met in 2004 when we served as co-convenors of the LAWYERS FOR REFORM (L4R) MOVEMENT”, which served as the national core of volunteer lawyers of the late Sen. Raul Roco who ran for president in 2004 against Arroyo and FPJ. Like FPJ (who died of stroke after the election), Roco died of prostate cancer shortly after the said election.

I found Aguirre to be warm-hearted, humble, sensible, modest, friendly, and cheerful – the exact opposite of the aggressive, war-freak, intimidating, narcissistic and hot-headed personality of his fraternity brod Duterte.

I remember texting Aguirre many times during the height of the Senate investigation on the Mamasapano Massacre to urge him to courageously expose the truth about the incident in his capacity as Gen. Napenas’ counsel. Aguirre replied to me with gratitude.