'Gawa-gawa lang': Diokno says to fight 'absurd' sedition raps


Posted at Sep 12 2019 08:46 AM | Updated as of Sep 12 2019 09:29 AM

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MANILA - Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno on Thursday said he would fight the sedition and other complaints against him by the police, which he slammed as "ridiculous" and "absurd."

Diokno, along with Vice President Leni Robredo and Otso Diretso senatorial candidates among others, was tagged as those behind the "Ang Totoong Narco-list" videos linking President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to the drug trade.

"I’ve been handling these kinds of cases as a lawyer for 30 years, I've seen firsthand how politics can get in the way of justice. I know the realities. I’m going to fight this," he told ANC's Early Edition.

"I know that it will be an uphill battle, but I’m innocent and I’ve not done anything wrong so I’m really not afraid of what will happen. The way our government acts, they feed on the fear of the people and I’m not afraid, I’m going to fight this."

The complaint was based on the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy, who said he met with the opposition figures at the Ateneo de Manila University last March 4.

Diokno, however, belied this claim.

"That never happened. That is an outright lie and that’s why we filed a counter-charge against him for perjury," he said.

"He claims that even the Vice President arrived in that meeting and that never happened either. Gawa-gawa lang talaga ni Bikoy 'yan, ni Advincula 'yan."

Diokno said the complainant, Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, should have checked the whereabouts of the accused before filing their complaint.

"If they were really being fair to everyone, they should have checked that first. They could have easily checked as well the whereabouts of the other prominent personalities who were charged there. Did they do that? Apparently not."

"There was not the usual kind of scrutiny that the law enforcement should have given to the case."

Several of the accused have filed their counter-affidavits, including Robredo who said she had never met Advincula.