Impeach threat reveals agenda behind complaint vs Robredo - lawyer


Posted at Jul 25 2019 12:12 PM


MANILA - The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday said there is a clear political motive behind the sedition charges filed by the police last week against opposition members.

In a press briefing, Robredo spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez said lawyer Larry Gadon's plan to file an impeachment complaint against Robredo if she is indicted for sedition shows that this is no ordinary complaint. 

Vice President Leni Robredo leads the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony in celebration of the 121st Philippine Independence Day, held at the Rizal Monument in Manila on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Salvador Mison, OVP

"This is a clear indicator kung ano ba talaga ang agenda dito. Hindi ito criminal case na ordinaryo. Hindi ito batay sa isang maayos na imbestigasyon. Ito ay clearly politically motivated," he added. 

Gadon, lawyer of Peter Joemel Advincula, said Thursday that he will file an impeachment complaint against Robredo if she is indicted for sedition and inciting to sedition. 

Advincula earlier claimed he was paid by opposition figures to appear in the "Totoong Narcolist" series of viral videos that linked President Duterte's family and allies to the narcotics trade. He accused Robredo and other opposition figures of plotting to overthrow Duterte, which was swiftly denied by the opposition. 

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group earlier used 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.

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

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay 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. 

Gutierrez said the vice-president remains clueless on why she was involved in the sedition charges filed by the police last week. He said Robredo has yet to receive any communication from the justice department, including a subpoena or a copy of the affidavit.

"We don't know any of the specifics as to how and why the Vice President was included in the referral of the PNP," he told reporters. 

PNP chief Oscar Albayalde, however, claimed some sources have linked Robredo to an alleged ouster plot.

"Probably in some portion of his affidavit the Vice President was mentioned she was present during some of the meetings and that probably prompted the CIDG to file a case against her," he said.

Robredo's camp has talked to several lawyers who could represent her in the preliminary investigation, said her spokesperson.