By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang said there was nothing wrong with the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) helping draft the affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula, more known as Bikoy, against Vice President Leni Robredo and other opposition figures.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after it was reported that the OSG had a hand in drafting Bikoy’s affidavit despite the Palace’s denial of any involvement in the sedition complaint against Robredo and other administration critics.
In an interview, Panelo said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) consulted with the OSG and the latter is mandated to assist any government office.
“The SolGen is the lawyer of the Republic of the Philippines and all its clients are all office and agencies of the government. Now, it is mandated under the law to counsel, to give lawyering activities to any of the offices when its office is consulted,” he said.
“I talked with the SolGen earlier and he said that PNP sought its advice on the matter so the draft that was sent to them for review, that was their only participation,” he added.
“There’s nothing wrong with that because it’s the duty of the SolGen on a lawyer-client relationship,” he continued.
Panelo, meanwhile, maintained that the Palace has nothing to do with the sedition charges filed against opposition personalities. He said that even President Duterte was not aware of what was happening.
“The Palace was not involved, it’s not really involved even now,” he said.
“No [the President is not aware of it]. I was not even aware. I have to ask him. Hindi naman interesado si Presidente sa mga ganoon (The President is not interested),” he added.
“He makes the departments and the offices function [on] their own without any interference coming from him. He only does it when there is a charge of corruption,” Panelo continued.
The PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) accused Robredo and other opposition figures of sedition and other charges for their alleged involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that linked President Duterte’s family in the illegal drug trade.
Charges of sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice were filed against Robredo; and opposition senators Leila De Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and their former colleague, Antonio Trillanes IV.
The complaint of the PNP-CIDG was based on Advincula’s sworn statement. Advincula is the man who admitted to be the one behind the viral videos.