Aquino: 'Confused' Justice Secretary apologizes for 'irresponsible' claims

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 8) — A day after he was tagged in the Marawi crisis, Sen. Bam Aquino said Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre apologized to him for his "irresponsible" claims.

Aguirre apologized to Aquino after implicating him and opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the Marawi crisis, claiming this was part of a destabilization plot.

"Last night nakapag-usap na rin kami at nag-apologize na rin siya sa akin personally over the phone. He told me that with all the reports na pumasok daw sa kanya he got confused," Aquino said in a press conference Thursday.

[Translation: Last night, we talked and he apologized personally over the phone. He told me that with all the reports he received, he got confused.]

Aquino said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told him during the Senate security briefing on the Marawi siege that allegations of opposition involvement in Marawi are "too absurd" to be believed.

"Its really very irresponsible for sec Aguirre to make those statements habang napakadali namang malaman ang katotohonan [while it's easy to seek the truth].  And you're the sec of Justice, we expect more from you," Aquino said.

Senator Trillanes earlier denied allegations he met with some opposition figures in Marawi before the war broke out.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Aguirre claimed Aquino, Trillanes, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, and Aquino administration presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas may have an involvement in the Marawi crisis after supposedly meeting up with Moro political clans in the area.

Later in the day, Aguirre clarified his remarks, saying the media misquoted him.

Aguirre also showed a photo to support his claims, but CNN Philippines later found out this photo was taken two years ago.

Read more: Justice Secretary tags opposition senators to Marawi crisis, Resorts World attack

Senator Ping Lacson is one with Aquino in saying Aguirre's  statement puts the Senate and the country's security at risk.

"Pagka may sinabi ang secretary of Justice dapat beripikadong-beripikado, dapat i-fact check mo then check and recheck. Hindi pupuwedeng hindi sigurado 'yung information," Lacson said.

[Translation: If the secretary of Justice says something, it has to be duly verified. You have to factcheck, then check, and re-check. You can't be unsure of the information you have.]

The opposition is now thinking about its next steps against Aguirre.

'Wala akong binibigay'

At the Office of the Solicitor General's 116th anniversary celebration Thursday, Aguirre insisted he never showed the media a photo of the senators' meeting in Marawi.

"Alam niyo 'yun. Kaharap ko kayong lahat, wala akong binibigay kahit isang picture sa inyo," Aguirre said.

[Translation: You know me, I was with you, I did not give out any pictures.]

Aguirre was mum on Senator Aquino's demand for an apology, saying his voice was in a bad condition.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.