MANILA  - A senior aide to Philippine President Benigno Aquino was reprimanded but allowed to keep his job after being photographed buying counterfeit movie discs, a government spokeswoman said Saturday.

The case of Ronald Llamas, Aquino’s political adviser, has highlighted perceived shortcomings in the Philippines’s fight to stamp out rampant pirating of music and Hollywood films.

Investigators concluded Llamas had not violated any law but had committed an improper act, for which he was given a reprimand after he apologised publicly, Aquino spokeswoman Abigail Valte said.

Valte said Llamas was also warned that similar acts in the future would be dealt with more severely, though she declined to say what this meant.

The Manila newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer last month published a photograph of Llamas apparently buying pirated DVDs, sparking calls for Aquino to fire him.