Senator Leila de Lima urged Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to simply concentrate on his job after he dragged her into the tragic Resorts World assault that killed 38 individuals.
“After some time, your own excuses of blaming me for every catastrophe that befalls this administration just won’t wash with the public anymore except with your fanatic supporters whose numbers are quickly dwindling by the day because of no one else’s fault but you’re and your boss’ pathetic obsession with me,” De Lima mentioned in an announcement Wednesday (June 7).
The senator issued the assertion after Aguirre mentioned she could also be included within the investigation on the Resorts World assault due to her issuance of a authorized opinion that banned the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) from implementing fire-related legal guidelines in lodge and casinos.
In her protection, De Lima mentioned the authorized opinion she issued in 2014 whereas she was nonetheless DOJ chief was merely an affirmation of the 22-year-old legislation giving Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) jurisdiction over institutions registered in particular financial zones within the implementation of the National Building Code and Fire Code.
If the on line casino, as within the case of Resorts World Manila, shouldn’t be PEZA-registered institution in a particular financial zone, then the BFP has the authority to conduct hearth inspection and challenge a fireplace security insurance coverage certificates (FSIC) even when the institution is a playing on line casino, she mentioned.
“Sec. Aguirre once again is shooting from the hip when he blames for me the RW fire,” De Lima mentioned, stressing that “all I did was affirm RA 7916 as it was passed by Congress and implemented for 15 years before my incumbency as secretary of justice who seriously abides by her oath to uphold the law and the Constitution would do.”
“This law, RA 7916 or the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, to be statutorily precise about it – a habit that seems to escape Sec. Aguirre’s legal training – the legal opinion did not specifically mention casinos as exempt from the jurisdiction of the BFP,” she added.
De Lima turned the tables in opposition to Aguirre, assailing his transfer, single-handedly giving again to the BFP the jurisdiction over PEZA-registered institution on fire-related issues by rescinding her 2014 authorized opinion.
Aguirre, she mentioned, might stand to be in violation of RA 7916 because the matter can solely be carried out by Congress, by amendments within the mentioned legislation.
“Aguirre chooses to ignore it and do as he pleases just because in his legal opinion, PEZA has no capacity to enforce the Fire Code in the special economic zones. He chooses to single-handedly abrogate this law 22 years later without any amendatory law duly passed by Congress. He also chose to do this in the absence of any formal investigation yet to be concluded in the proximate cause of the entrapment of victims in the RW fire,” she mentioned.
“This is only the characteristic of the government he serves, a government that is selective in its application of the law and worse, that violates the law in the absence of any justifying or exempting circumstance founded on a concrete factual basis as determined in an official investigation,” De Lima added.
De Lima, as she scoffed at Aguirre, identified the DOJ chief ought to have carried out the identical motion when a fireplace hit HTI within the Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEZA) final Feb. 1 which resulted within the death of 5 individuals.
“If that is the track of Sec. Aguirre, then he is four months too late. He was already seven months into being secretary of justice then. He himself might have been caught sleeping at his post in the past four months after the HTI fire and before the RW incident or wasting his taxpayer-paid time filing bogus cases against me,” she mentioned.