Plenty of opposition lawmakers linked to the Maute terror group by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre have issued livid denials.
Sec. Aguirre had claimed that senators Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV and Antonio Trillanes IV, Representative Gary Alejano and Aquino Cabinet member Ronald Llamas had met in Marawi City earlier than the disaster erupted.
Speaking to reporters at present (Wednesday, June 7) he claimed the group met on the metropolis’s Lake View Resort Hotel on May 2. “I only received this information yesterday,” he stated. “This could be the spark that triggered the terroristic acts in Marawi.”
First to hit again on the declare was Senator Trillanes, who stated Vitaliano’s “incompetence is only matched by his stupidity”.
“For the document, I’m not involved in any means with the Maute group or the Marawi incident. Secretary Lorenzana [defence secretary] stated so himself.
“I also did not have any meeting in Marawi in May 2 since I haven’t visited Marawi for the past three years. But don’t take my word for it, simply check the Senate records for May 2,” he added.
“The incompetence of Aguirre is only matched by his stupidity. I would advise him to avoid getting his intel from Facebook conspiracy theorists.”
Senator Aquino additionally hit again, urging Sec. Aguirre to test his information earlier than making one other “false accusation”.
“Is fake news enough for the head of our country’s Department of Justice to make these outrageous allegations?” he requested.
“To be clear, there was never any meeting among the individuals mentioned by Sec. Aguirre.”
Sen Aquino stated he was on the PICC in Pasay City on May 2 because the PUP graduation speaker and in addition attended the Senate.
However, he did verify that he went to Marawi City on May 19 for the launch of the primary Negosyo Center within the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao — however was with a navy escort all through the journey.
“These are easily verifiable for anyone who cares to find the truth,” he stated.
He added that it will be prudent for Sec. Aguirre “to clarify dates, seek evidence and request for official statements from legitimate government agencies before he makes yet another false accusation”.
“This tragedy could have been an opportunity to unite the Philippines against a common enemy. Instead, it’s being used to further political interests and further divide our country,” the senator lamented.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, the president of the Liberal Party, has additionally rubbished the declare, saying: “This is pure nonsense and that is the nth time Secretary Aguirre has come up with baseless accusations linking the Liberal Party (LP) to destabilisation efforts.
“Every false accusation Aguirre makes against the LP results in further damage to his credibility. It is another attempt at deflecting the issue from the unresolved scandals facing his office.”
Asked for touch upon Sec. Aguirre’s allegations, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon was succinct. “Hogwash!” he stated.