Malacañang: No resignation letters from Aguirre, Bello

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 4) — The Palace on Wednesday clarified it has not received resignation letters from the secretaries of justice and labor, in the wake of rumors they are vacating their posts.

"The Office of the President has not received any letter of resignation from either (Labor Secretary Silvetsre) Bello or (Justice Secretary) Vitaliano Aguirre," Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a Malacañang press briefing.

He added Bello and Aguirre are attending the Cabinet meeting this afternoon.

The statement comes after President Rodrigo Duterte announced he will fire more officials after the Holy Week break.

Duterte in February said Bello is resigning to focus on his senatorial bid, but Bello denied this. 

Meanwhile, Aguirre has been under fire after a series of controversial decisions from the Department of Justice (DOJ) involving the ₱50-million bribery scandal at the Bureau of Immigration, the admission of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to the Witness Protection Program, and the dropping of drug charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa, alleged drug-lord Peter Lim, among others.

Duterte himself questioned why the case against Espinosa was dismissed by state prosecutors when he personally admitted he was involved in the drug trade, adding that he will look into the dismissal.

Palace on Tuesday refused to comment on reports saying Duterte will fire Aguirre.

READ: Palace mum on rumors Duterte will fire DOJ chief Aguirre  

On Wednesday, Guevarra said Duterte remains "generally satisfied" with Aguirre's performance, "except for certain debacles (where) the President did not hide his displeasure," referring to the dismissal of charges against Espinosa and Lim, among others.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the President is "unhappy" with the performance of some members of the Cabinet.

But Guevarra said, "We are not aware of any intended Cabinet revamp."