MANILA - Members of the faculty of the University of the Philippines College of Law on Monday called on the Department of Justice to dismiss the "baseless" charges against former UP Law professors and lawyers for their alleged involvement in the viral "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos that tagged President Rodrigo Duterte's family in the drug trade.
At least 90 members of the UP Law Faculty signed the statement of support, expressing "grave concern" over the filing of criminal charges against fellow professors Theodore Te and Serafin Salvador Jr., former professor Florin Hilbay, and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and Free Legal Assistance Group, based on the statement of Peter Joemel Advincula, a person whose credibility is in serious doubt."
"The charges are nothing but pure harassment, intimidation and undue interference in their professional function," the statement read.
They also called on Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to dismiss the charges against Te, Salvador, Hilbay and the other lawyers and members of the opposition.
Among those who expressed their support are UP Law Dean Fides Cordero-Tan, former dean Pacifico Agabin, Jay Batongbacal, Antonio La Viña and Ma. Soledad Mawis, among others.
The complaint, which was filed in July, was based on a sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who introduced himself as hooded figure "Bikoy" in the videos that made rounds on social media at the height of the May electoral campaign.
The PNP-CIDG filed charges of sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice against Vice President Leni Robredo, opposition senators Leila De Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and their former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV.