Aguirre should take seriously Duterte's warning if cases vs drug lords won't prosper: Roque
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III should take seriously President Rodrigo Duterte's warning that he would replace the two suspected drug lords in jail if their cases would not prosper, Malacanang said on Thursday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte still has trust and confidence in Aguirre.
But he said whether Duterte's warning to Aguirre was said in jest, "you must take him seriously."
"He could consider this as a joke...he said it in rather jokingly manner. But from the almost six months now that I’ve worked closely with the President, he doesn’t waste words. Unlike me, I’m very verbose ‘no. But the president does not waste words," Roque said.
"I think the message is: He is not happy with the decision," Roque stressed, referring to the decision of the state prosecutor to dismiss the cases against self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Epinoso and another suspected drug lord, Peter Lim.
Meanwhile, Roque denied that the promotion of then prosecutor Aristotle Reyes to a trial court judge was connected to the dismissal of the complaints filed against Lim and Espinosa.
Prior to Duterte's appointment to Reyes as a judge, he was the one handling the complaints against the suspected drug lords.
Lim reportedly is a friend of Duterte.
"I don’t think so. And it’s far-fetched. If at all, if the president knew that he cleared these individuals, he probably would not have been appointed. So I think the question is… has a wrong premise," Roque said.
The Duterte administration has been waging war against illegal drugs. Thousands of drug suspects have allegedly been killed in the campaign. Celerina Monte/DMS