By Jeffrey G. Damicog
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has denied that a political grudge was behind his decision to order the investigation of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña for allegedly being in the payroll of drug lords.
Aguirre reacted to the statement of Vice President Leni Robredo who asked him not to use the Department of Justice (DOJ) to carry out a vendetta against Osmena.
“What political vendetta is she talking about?” Aguirre said.
“Is it her position that we should not pursue any criminal prosecution for violation of the comprehensive drugs law because the culprit belongs to the opposition?” he said.
The secretary noted that the opposition does not file cases against its members who are vocal critics of President Duterte.
“This is the same position they have with respect to the [Sen. Leila] De Lima cases. That no case should be filed against Osmeña because he is anti-Duterte advocate?” he said.
Aguirre has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct the probe on Osmeña.
He said the investigation is based on the November 23, 2016 sworn affidavit of Reynaldo Diaz, said to be the bagman and cousin of slain drug lord Jeffrey Diaz.
He said Reynaldo Diaz testified that Osmeña received P2 million for “hospitalization expenses” in 2013 and P5 million during the 2016 elections from his cousin.
“The others listed in the payola are Gen. Vicente Loot and four other police officers,” Aguirre added.