VITALIANO AGUIRRE DIRING DIRI NA SA PANGBA-BASTOS NI SEN. MIRIAM SANTIAGO SA KAPWA LAWYERS
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Published on Feb 29, 2012
Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre " How could you respect a person when that person herself does not show respect?"
Lawyer who dared cross Miriam no stranger to controversy
29-Feb-12, 6:24 PM | Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines — The man who admitted that he covered his ears while the verbose Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was scolding prosecutors during Wednesday's trial was no stranger to colorful personalities.
Lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre II, who stood up to the feisty senator, had served as lawyer for Senator Panfilo Lacson, Davao Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and lead counsel of Hubert Webb in his murder-rape case.
As deputy counsel for the Feliciano Commission's fact-finding investigation on the Oakwood, the 65-year-old Aguirre also conducted the direct examinations of now Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and other mutineers who participated in a failed occupation of a Makati City hotel years ago.
Before being cited in contempt by the impeachment court, Aguirre faced the senator-judges, saying he covered his ears on purpose because he no longer wanted to hear the senator's "shrill voice."
"Kung nakasakit ang actuations ko po, I really did it purposely because totoo naman po na shrill ang voice, nasasaktan ang tenga ko," Aguirre said. "Dapat po lamang na kahit ang senador ay judges at kami'y hamak na prosecutors, ang pinaka-importante sa isang tao eh respeto. If you demand respect dapat respetuhin mo rin ang abugadong ito sapagkat ang human dignity walang kapalit."
Lacson, a colleague of Santiago, said he was sympathetic to what happened to Aguirre.
"He's a bright lawyer and a placer in the bar exams. I think he's second or fourth. I can only sympathize with him and I agree with his proposition that a man's dignity is worth fighting for no matter what the consequences may be. He was simply nor at the right place when he defended that dignity," Lacson said in a text message when asked to describe his former lawyer.
Aguirre was one of the dozens private prosecutors who were tapped to help secure the conviction of Chief Justice Renato Corona. He was enlisted to help Northern Samar Representative Raul Daza for Article 1, one of the charges that the prosecution team dropped in the trial. Aguirre came from a clan of politicians from Mulanay, Quezon.
His father, the late municipal Mayor Alfaro Aguirre, was chairman of the Liberal Party for nearly 40 years.
In the 2010 elections, his family supported the entire Liberal Party slate of President Benigno Aquino III and helped ensure the victory of their municipal candidate for mayor. He finished law studies at the San Beda College, graduating valedictorian of his class and cum laude.
In 1971, he passed the Bar Examinations with a rating of 85.25%. He was consistent honor student since his elementary days. He is presently managing partner of Aguirre and Aguirre Law Firm and teached law at the Arellano Law Foundation. Aguirre was also cited as champion debater by the San Beda College of Law.
After the encounter with Santiago, Aguirre was ushered into the prosecution room and stayed there for an hour. Prosecution staff said he just kept quite and was red in the face. After close to one hour, he was escorted out of the Senate building to his car.
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