January 29, 2017
Trillanes: Aguirre, former VP of CDC, knew Jack Lam's illegal operations as early as 2013
Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV blasted anew Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, saying that the he knew all the illegal operations of Jack Lam's Fontana Leisure Park Hotel and Casino, as he was the Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) during the previous administration.
Trillanes said, "As mentioned by Sec. Aguirre during the Senate Blue Ribbon hearing, the illegal operation of Jack Lam's casino has been going on for more than 10 years already. But since Aguirre was VP and chief legal counsel of the CDC from March 2013 to June 2016, then he surely knew about this operation."
During the hearing conducted by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Sec. Aguirre mentioned no raid was conducted as regards the illegal operations of Jack Lam because the CDC thought the operation is legal since they are duly authorized by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).
"As CDC's Chief Legal Counsel, Aguirre should know and definitely knows that immigration laws were being violated by Jack Lam's casino and that CEZA's permits cannot be used in other freeports in the country. But still he allowed it to operate then. So, the 100 million peso question now is, 'Is the shakedown, Aguirre's way of saying he is the new boss in town?'," Trillanes added.
Trillanes earlier raised questions on the holes in Aguirre's testimony: Why did he meet with suspects in a case inside a hotel in the first place? Why did Aguirre invite his frat brother, Argosino to the meeting instead of Comm. Morente? Before he left that meeting, why did he say to Argosino, "ikaw na ang bahala"? Why did he tell Argosino not to coordinate with 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 supposedly told him about it? Why did Argosino ask 100 million from Sombero if his frat brother/boss, Aguirre did not approve of it (Sombero could simply validate this directly with Aguirre)? If Aguirre wasn't in on the extortion/bribery, why would Sombero give 50 million pesos to Argosino when he knows that Argosino doesn't haven't the authority or power to release the Chinese workers?
"Aguirre has a lot of explaining to do. Now, instead of resorting to name-calling, he should start rehearsing his story to cover the holes in his previous testimony which implicated him to this bribery scandal," Trillanes further noted.
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