MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has named former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as a member of the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
Aguirre, who resigned after he was criticized for his agency’s handling of some high-profile cases, will represent the private sector, presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced yesterday.
“Mr. Aguirre served as Department of Justice secretary during the early years of the Duterte administration. This bodes well in his new position to make the police service competent, effective, credible and responsive to our people’s needs. Good luck to Mr. Aguirre in his present appointment,” Roque said in a statement.
Aguirre left the Duterte Cabinet in April 2018 after he was dragged into controversies including the P50-million bribery scandal involving resigned immigration deputy commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles. Weeks before he quit, Aguirre ordered the reversal of the dismissal of charges against suspected drug lords Peter Lim and Kerwin Espinosa, a decision he claimed was made partly because of “public clamor.”
The President had threatened to place Aguirre in jail if Espinosa and Lim would get away from their cases.
Then senior deputy executive secretary Menardo Guevarra had said that Duterte was “generally satisfied” with Aguirre’s performance “except for certain debacles.” Guevarra succeeded Aguirre as justice secretary.