Bikoy's lawyer eyes impeachment case vs VP Robredo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2019 09:48 AM | Updated as of Jul 25 2019 11:06 AM

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MANILA - The lawyer of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy on Thursday said he will file an impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo if she is indicted for sedition and inciting to sedition.

"That is one of the direction we may take. If Mrs. Robredo is indicted then that would be the next step - the impeachment proceedings against her. That’s the plan, but that’s my plan only. Hindi naman involved dito yung OSG (The Office of the Solicitor General is not involved)," lawyer Larry Gadon told ANC.

Gadon, who filed the impeachment complaint that eventually led to the removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, denied that the Duterte administration is behind the charges against Robredo and critics from the oppostion. 

"Sinasabi nila pakawala ako ng Malacañang (They say Malacañang let me out), and I just want to be appointed. It turned out hindi ako nagpa-appoint, hindi ako nag-apply (I wasn't appointed, I didn't apply) and I was not even endorsed by Duterte in my run for the Senate," he said. 

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is using Advincula's sworn statement to file charges of sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice against Robredo, opposition senators Leila De Lima and Risa Hontiveros, their former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV, and several others.

Advincula had claimed he is the hooded figure "Bikoy" in the "Totoong Narcolist" series of viral videos that linked President Duterte's family and allies to the narcotics trade.

He said he was paid to appear in the videos, allegedly masterminded by opposition members who wanted to remove the President from power. The opposition has denied Advincula's allegations.

Gadon said his client has a lot of evidence including emails and text messages between Advincula and the respondents to prove his allegations.

He said Advincula first approached a certain Ruben Reyes and asked for a job. Father Reyes then brought Advincula to a certain Fr. Albert Alejo of Ateneo who helped him get a job as an IT programmer for several months, Gadon said.

"Sometime in February 2019 he was asked to meet somebody who turned out to be the chief security of former Sen. (Antonio) Trillanes. After that they talked about destabilizing the government and putting some doubts on the characters of the family for President Duterte and they came up with a series of videos," Gadon claimed. 

Advincula had met all 36 respondents in the case, Gadon added.

"These personalities are very well known so madaling tandaan (they're easy to remember). Nakaharap niya yan, lahat yan nakaharap niya (He met all of them). He will prove it during the hearing," he said.

In a separate interview, Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde said the PNP is leaving it up to the courts to determine Advincula's credibility. 

"We are not saying we trust Bikoy. That is why the [determination of] credibility lies in the discretion of the court. What we are trying to point out here is there is a possibility of a commission of a crime," he said. 

"Some sources also said that probably, there is a possibility here, I am not saying the Vice President is guilty but that there is a possibility that she is involved," he added. 

Asked if Robredo was asked for her side in the allegations, he said: "Probably not. Not yet. The investigation is still ongoing even as in today the case was already filed in court. The investigation will still go on. These people can give their affidavits or counter affidavits through the CIDG or directly to the court."

SOLGEN HELPING BIKOY? 

ABS-CBN News earlier found that 2 employees of the OSG had a hand in drafting Advincula's affidavit. Gadon and Albayalde, however, said the PNP only consulted the OSG in filing the case.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay has said the involvement of the OSG in the filing of the case against Robredo and other opposition figures is alarming since the OSG only comes in in the appellate stage. 

"Ask everyone from OSG or those who held jobs there. They've never done anything of that sort. That's why it's alarming, that the institution is being used to go after members of the opposition," he said. 

He also noted the government cannot use Advincula as a state witness "because he is the most guilty party among those listed in the complaint."