Senator Antonio Trillanes IV hit back at Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II after he criticized the legislator for harboring a criminal like former policeman and self-confessed hitman Arturo Lascañas.
Trillanes said it was not him, but Aguirre who was coddling a criminal and mass murderer in the person of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“If there is someone harboring a criminal, then it is Aguirre himself because the mastermind and mass murderer here is his boss, Duterte,” Trillanes said in a statement on Thursday, June 15.
“And if there are people obstructing justice in this case, then they would be the Duterte allies in Congress for railroading the impeachment and terminating the Senate investigation,” he said.
The senator, a staunch critic of Duterte, was referring to the congressional investigation on the rampant extrajudicial killings in the country amid Duterte’s war against drugs, as well as the investigation on the former mayor’s alleged involvement in the “Davao Death Squad.”
“Moreover, Secretary Aguirre conveniently forgets that Lascañas exited legally through the immigration counter of the Bureau of Immigration, which is under Aguirre’s DOJ. As to the Interpol, how sure is Aguirre that Lascanas is not yet on refugee status in another country?” he said.
Aguirre recently directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to coordinate with International Police Organization (Interpol) for the arrest of Lascañas.
Last April, Lascañas went to Singapore for a vacation after testifying before the Senate that Duterte allegedly headed the DDS when he was city mayor.
The former police officer admitted that he was a member of Duterte’s hit squad and revealed that the then mayor ordered him to kill Davao-based broadcaster Jun Pala.
A warrant of arrest has been issued against Lascañas for Pala’s murder.