By Raymund Antonio
The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo called on the Department of Justice to exercise fair play when it starts on Friday, August 9, the preliminary investigation into the sedition complaint against her and 35 others over the controversial “Bikoy” videos.
“Pinanghahawakan namin iyong sinabi ni [Justice] Secretary [Menardo] Guevarra that they will try to ensure na patas itong prosesong ito,” Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said in a media interview after they filed a motion for the production of evidence before the Department of Justice on Thursday.
(We hold on to the statement of Secretary Guevarra that they will try to ensure a fair process.)
“So what we’re asking the DOJ to do is sabihan naman niyo iyong mga complainants na pulis, na iyong sinasabi nilang resulta ng imbestigasyon, iyong sinasabi nilang ebidensyang hawak nila, bigyan kami ng kopya para naman maayos iyong maging sagot namin at maging patas iyong laban,” he added.
(So what we were asking the DOJ is to tell the complainants, which are the police, to give us a copy of the results of the investigation, that they have evidence, so we can reply for this to be a fair fight.)
Gutierrez accompanied Robredo’s lead lawyer Marlon Manuel when he asked the DOJ to order the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to present the evidence in its custody against Robredo.
The Robredo camp told the DOJ that the “submission of the counter-affidavit be deferred pending receipt of evidence if any.”
Under Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, Manuel cited “the respondent shall have the right to examine the evidence submitted by the complaint which he may not have been furnished and to copy at his expense.”
The police complaint stemmed from the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” viral videos which features Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy,” the hooded man who linked the family and allies of President Duterte to the illegal drug trade.
Gutierrez, who is also the vice presidential legal adviser, said they are taking no chances in the complaint against Robredo given the previous legal cases of detained Senator Leila de Lima and ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“Kaya nga sa puntong ito, ang gusto namin, play fair, ‘di ba. Ipakita niyo iyong buong ebidensya (That’s why at this point we want is they play fair. Present all your evidence),” he said.
“Galangin niyo iyong karapatan ng mga respondents sa isang criminal investigation. Sundin niyo iyong sarili niyong mga patakaran para hindi na lang magulat tayo isang araw at mayroon nang resulta itong hindi inaasahan ng kahit sino,” he added.
(Respect the rights of the respondents in a criminal investigation. Follow your own rules so we won’t be surprised that one day it already has results unexpected by everyone.)
The Vice President will not attend tomorrow’s preliminary investigation at the DOJ, but Manuel assured he would represent her in the hearing.