A youth group has filed administrativeethics complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
The Millennial Against Dictators accused Aguirre of peddling “fake news” when he said that several members of the political opposition, as part of a destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte, met in Marawi before the city was attacked by terrorists.
The politicians named by Aguirre to have attended the meeting denied the allegation.
Aguirre made natters worse when he said that he was misquoted by media over his statement.
The group tagged Aguirre as “fake news king” for allegedly spreading unfounded claims and incorrect information in his official capacity as Secretary of the DOJ.
The youth group filed the petition seeking the Ombudsman to hold Aguirre accountable for violating Section 4 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees for his repeated unsubstantiated public accusations and allegations thus failing to discharge his duties with “excellence, professionalism, intelligence, and skill.”
Aguirre on Monday, July 10, slammed critics tagging him as a ‘fake news king.’
“I never been a fake news king,”Aguirre told the Philippine News Agency (PNA), when sought for a comment on the complaint filed by Millennial Against Dictators.
Last June 7, Aguirre told the media that some lawmakers held a meeting prior to the terror attacks in Marawi City which was perpetrated by the Maute group which he described as possibly a part of the destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Aguirre disclosed reports he received that Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, former presidential adviser for political affairs Ronald Llamas, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Allejano Alejano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV) Trillanes met in Marawi City on May 2 with influential Moro clans including the Lucman and the Alonto prior the attack of the Maute terrorist group.
In an earlier statement, Aguirre reiterated that the information he revealed to the media in a press conference last June 7 was raw, noting that he wanted to verify and investigate further on the matter.
”Unang una, hindi fake news yun. It is a raw intelligence report and I made clear to the media, sa inyo. Sinabi ko sa inyo na this is mere intelligence report. I have to validate it. I don’t want to make speculation,” Aguirre said as he accused media of misreporting his statement on the alleged meeting in Marawi City.
The Justice and Court Reporters Association (JUCRA) issued a statement over Aguirre’s statements claiming that he was misquoted during his June 7 press conference where he dragged several opposition lawmakers into the Marawi siege.
“As recorded in our videos and voice recorder and even in our Facebook Live coverages, we quoted Sec. Aguirre verbatim and only reported the facts to our viewers and readers – including the fact that he showed a photo from his mobile phone supposedly showing the meeting between the senators and Muslim clans in Marawi last May 2,” read the statement.
“As responsible journalists, we also took the opportunity to perform our duty of verifying and counter-checking the information and photo that the Secretary has presented during the briefing, and found that several details and information were wrong,” it added.(With report by Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)