Aguirre willing to testify in Sereno’s impeachment
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Friday has expressed willingness to testify in the impeachment proceedings of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“I will testify if called. If there are stories behind the scenes (on my request to have the Maute cases transferred), I don’t know anything about it,” Aguirre said.
One of the grounds Gadon cited in the impeachment complaint was the Chief Justice allegedly manipulated and thereafter delayed the resolution of A.M. No. 17-06-02-SC (the request of the Secretary of Justice to transfer the Maute cases outside of Mindanao) after realizing that she lost in the voting.
Gadon’s allegation stemmed from Aguirre’s letter request to Sereno to transfer the proceedings of detained Maute members facing rebellion charges to Metro Manila due to security concerns and lack of adequate detention facilities.
Aguirre wrote a letter to Sereno last June to create special courts in Luzon and Visayas to hear the criminal cases to be filed against Maute members.
But the Supreme Court (SC) on June 6 instead assigned the Cagayan de Oro Regional Trial Court (RTC) to hear, try and decide all cases and incidents in connection with the Marawi attacks.
Aguirre, however, disagreed with the Tribunal, insisting that the designated courts are “too near to the Lanaos and Marawi City.”
“I recall the first letter I sent to SC. I had requested the transfer be done, the venue of the cases be done here (in Metro Manila), or Visayas or Luzon,” Aguirre said.
“It (the request) was not granted by the SC when it issued a resolution transferring the venue of the cases from Marawi to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City,” Aguirre noted.