SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV on Sunday said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II knew all the illegal operations of Jack Lam’s Fontana Leisure Park Hotel and Casino because he was the vice president and chief legal counsel of Clark Development Corporation during the Aquino administration.
“Since Aguirre was VP and chief legal counsel of CDC from March 2013 to June 2016, he surely knew about this operation,” Trillanes said.
Aguirre said no raid was conducted against Lam because CDC thought his operation was legal because he was duly authorized by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.
“As CDC’s chief legal counsel, Aguirre should [have known]that immigration laws were being violated by Jack Lam’s casino and that Ceza’s permits cannot be used in other free ports in the country,” Trillanes said.
“But he still allowed it to operate. So the 100- million-peso question now is, Is the shakedown Aguirre’s way of saying he is the new boss in town?”
Trillanes earlier asked why Aguirre met with the suspects in a case inside a hotel. He also asked why Aguirre invited his frat brother (former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Al) Argosino to the meeting instead of (Immigration Commissioner Jaime) Morente.”
Argosino, along with former Immigration Deputy Commissioner Michael Robles, received a P50-million bribe from Lam through retired police Supt. Wally Sombero.
Argosino and Robles are fraternity brothers of Aguirre and President Duterte at the Lex Taliones Fraternias Inc.
Trillanes also asked why, before Aguirre left the meeting with Lam, he told Argosino “ikaw na ang bahala”?
“Why did he tell Argosino not to coordinate with [former BI Intelligence chief Charles] Calima? Why did he tell Sombero to coordinate with Argosino and not Calima? How did he know the amount of the supposed bribe of 50 to 100 million pesos as early as Dec. 1, when nobody told him about it? Why did Argosino ask 100 million from Sombero if his frat brother/boss Aguirre did not approve of it?” further asked Trillanes.
If Aguirre wasn’t in on the extortion/bribery, why would Sombero give 50 million pesos to Argosino when he knew that the latter did not have the authority to release the Chinese workers?
Trillanes said he suspected Aguirre knew about the transactions and he only came out in the media because it had already been exposed.
“Aguirre has a lot of explaining to do,” Trillanes said.
“Instead of resorting to name-calling, he should start rehearsing his story to cover the holes in his previous testimony which implicated him in this bribery scandal.”