“I HOPE to make the Department of Justice (DOJ) “the bastion of hope”, especially “for the lost, the least and the last.”
This was the message conveyed by DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre before the prosecutors in Region 1 in a meeting when he was in Dagupan on April 10 as commencement speaker of the College of Law of the University of Pangasinan PHINMA.
“Our collaborative efforts bring forth victories in the war against drugs, war against criminalities, war against corruption for better future for our children,” Aguirre told the 189 prosecutors, and other members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Pangasinan.
He said the marching orders from President Duterte when he accepted the Justice portfolio were to “stop drugs, stop corruption, and stop all forms of criminality”.
“Following the words of our President, corruption must end. It will end. We are here to serve, not to stand on our pedestal, aloof and indifferent to the needs of our people,” Aguirre said.
He said “that will never be the case of the DOJ during my watch” as he recalled how he started the fight on illegal drugs in the Bureau of Corrections, assisted by Special Action Force troopers when they raided the den of illegal drugs syndicates.
“We believe we have busted almost 90 percent of drug syndicates inside the New Bilibid Prison,” Aguirre said.
He added that through their police arm, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the biggest drug haul of 900 kilos of shabu worth around P6 billion was busted by NBI which he said was much more than all the seizures of throughout the term of President Aquino.
In the fight against corruption, Aguirre cited the raid the DOPJ conducted in Fontana Leisure Park where 1,316 Chinese were caught illegally operating online gaming.
He said he would repeat, time and again, what he told Jack Lam, a Chinese casino mogul allegedly involved in a P50-million bribery scandal “do not corrupt my people”.
“I will not hesitate to say that again and again,” he said.
Meanwhile, Aguirre said he issued a department order directing the NBI beginning this month to convert to unified or multi—purpose NBI clearance system, a process that will no longer require separate NBI clearances for travel, for employment, for firearms or for other purposes, once the NBI office clears a person,
This will ease the people of extra burden and extra expenses, he said.
“We talk, we listen and then we act. That’s the DOJ now,” he intoned. (Tita Roces)