MANILA - Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday described as “pure hogwash” the sedition charges filed against her and several other personalities in connection with a series of viral videos that linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the drug trade.
“Pure hogwash. Pure hogwash 'yung mga kaso na naman 'yan. Basura 'yun,” De Lima said in an ambush interview before the hearing of her drug cases at a Muntinlupa Court on Friday.
(Pure hogwash. The cases were pure hogwash. They’re garbage.)
De Lima, who is a former justice secretary, questioned how the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group managed to file the cases without any proper investigation.
“Hindi ko alam kung paano nag-imbestiga ang CIDG. They're supposed to have subpoena powers now, right? Wala man lang semblance of a decent and professional investigative work,” De Lima said.
(I don’t know how the CIDG conducted its investigation. They’re supposed to have subpoena powers now right? There seems to be no semblance of a decent and professional investigative work.)
A series of YouTube clips titled "Totoong Narco-list" before the 2019 elections claimed drug money was funneled into the bank accounts of Duterte's son, Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, his son-in-law Atty. Manases Carpio, and former aide, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
"Bikoy," a hooded figure in the videos, claimed that he used to keep financial records for the drug syndicate that allegedly had dealings with the Duterte family.
On May 6, Peter Joemel Advincula surfaced at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines headquarters and claimed he was "Bikoy." He claimed he was not paid by the opposition Otso Diretso slate, only to flip-flop weeks later and link the Liberal Party and other figures to the viral videos.
The PNP-CIDG on Thursday filed charges of sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice against Vice President Leni Robredo, opposition senators De Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and their former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV.
The complaint was based on Advincula’s sworn statement. The Department of Justice said Advincula, in his statement, detailed "supposed meetings with the aforenamed personalities and how they planned what he referred to as 'Project Sodoma.'"
Also charged were former Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, former Sen. Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Moro civic leader Samira Gutoc, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, who all ran for the Senate under opposition slate Otso Diretso in the May elections but lost.
The same charges were also filed against vocal critics of the Duterte administration including Archbishops Socrates Villegas and Pablo Virgilio David, Bishops Honesto Ongtioco and Teodoro Bacani Jr., and priests Albert Alejo and Robert Reyes.
Former Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te and several officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) were also cited in the complaint.