Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday (Oct. 26) accused Sen. Risa Hontiveros of engaging in a “fishing expedition” against him in the continued Senate probe of the “pastillas” money-making scheme.
“She refused to accept my innocence because she wanted to get back at me for filing a case against her for Violation of RA 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act when she violated my constitutional right by photographing the messages in my cell phone during a Senate Hearing,” said Aguirre who noted that the case is with the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).
“Sen. Hontiveros is engaged in witch-hunting and fishing expedition against me and this is the reason why she did not want to end the hearing of her committee,” he pointed out.
With this, Aguirre challenged the lawmaker to find evidence that would connect him in the scheme.
“To Sen. Hontiveros, my message to you is: You are barking at the wrong tree! Happy hunting! BRING IT ON!!” declared Aguirre.
The former justice secretary reminded that “not a scintilla of evidence was presented to show my involvement in this so-called Pastillas Scheme.”
“The 2 whistleblowers she presented never once uttered my name to implicate me in this scandal in their respective affidavits and during the entire duration of the Senate Hearing,” Aguirre said.
“Only she and her fake witness Ramon Tulfo were mentioning my name without submitting any direct and admissible any evidence to implicate me,” he noted.
Hontiveros said Aguirre remains a person of interest because he was the person who signed the Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program which allowed the influx of Chinese nationals as well as appointed at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) the alleged ringleaders of the scheme, Marc Red Marinas and his father Maynard.
Under the scheme, bribe money wrapped in white paper that made them look like the Filipino candy treat “pastillas” are given to facilitate the entry of Chinese nationals.