DOJ summons Robredo, opposition figures over sedition raps

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2019 03:10 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice on Friday summoned Vice President Leni Robredo and other opposition figures in the sedition and inciting to sedition complaints filed by the Philippine National Police.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the preliminary investigation was set on August 9 at 10 a.m.

The complaints stemmed from the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy, who claimed Robredo and other administration critics were involved in the viral "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos that tagged President Rodrigo Duterte's family in the drug trade.

Aside from Robredo, among those impleaded were opposition senators Leila De Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and their former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV.

Also charged were Otso Diretso senatorial candidates 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.

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.

Robredo's camp said they are ready to face the complaint against her even though it was a clear case of political harassment.

Advincula's lawyer, losing senatorial candidate Larry Gadon, has said he will file an impeachment complaint against Robredo should she be indicted.

The DOJ, meantime, vowed "utmost fairness" in the resolution of the case.

"The evidence, or the lack of it, will speak for itself," Guevarra said.

"In the ordinary course of things, the complaint shall be dismissed as to those respondents against whom no evidence is presented, while those against whom sufficient evidence is presented shall accordingly be indicted."

--With reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News