MANILA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday that he has accepted the resignation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
"I accepted the resignation of Vic Aguirre, my fraternity brother, as secretary of justice. I am now in the hastings, looking for a replacement," Duterte said in a speech at Malacanang, the presidential palace.
Aguirre was forced to tender his resignation after the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to dismiss the drug trafficking charges against businessman Peter Lim and self-confessed drug for Kerwin Espinosa. Duterte fumed at the DOJ decision.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque has earlier quoted Duterte as saying that if Lim and Espinosa get away with the crimes, he would replace the two with Aguirre in jail.
Aguirre is the fourth official fired by Duterte. Duterte also sacked former Information and Communications Technology Chief Rodolfo Salalima, former National Irrigation Authority chief Peter Laviña, and Vice President Leni Robredo, who formerly chaired the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
In the same speech, Duterte also named National Capital Region Police chief Oscar Albayalde as the new head of the Philippine National Police.
Albayalde will replace PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa who retired from service in January. Duterte extended Dela Rosa's term for a few months while he was looking for a replacement.