By Jeffrey Damicog
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villages has denied allegations made by Peter Joemel Advincula of involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” viral videos.
The former Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president pointed this out in his affidavit that was filed before the panel of prosecutors conducting the preliminary investigation of the sedition complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) against him and 35 others.
“There is absolutely no truth to the accusations of the CIDG, and its witness, Peter Joemel “Bikoy” D. Advincula, against me,” read his counter-affidavit.
In the complaint filed last July 18, the PNP-CIDG accused 36 respondents of having committed sedition, inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice.
The case stemmed from the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” which features Bikoy and accused a number of personalities including family members of President Rodrigo Duterte as being involved in the illegal drugs trade.
However, the PNP-CIDG learned from Advincula “he was engaged by the respondents to spread lies against the President, his family and close associate, making them to appear as illegal trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money.”
“Indeed, I am a man of peace and a man of God. I have always strived to faithfully serve my flock and live my life doing what is right and just. I do not harbor any ill will against any person, including President Duterte, the members of his family, or the people close to him. I have no malicious or illicit desire to bring down this or any administration, and I have never conspired with any person to carry out any nefarious plot to bring harm to this administration and any of the people who serve it,” Villegas assured in his counter-affidavit.
Villegas refuted the claims of Advincula that the prelate met with Advincula, Fr. Albert Alejo, and a certain Jonell at around 6p.m. on Dec. 12, 2018 at the Jesuit residence at the Ateneo de Manila University to discuss the release of the videos to the public.
“Mr. Advincula’s foregoing assertions against me, however, are absolutely false,” stressed Villegas.
The prelate submitted a sworn statement of Fr. Jersey Prepose and a video recording which showed that Villegas was at the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Orani, Bataan to conduct a mass.
He said he was there at the mass which was attended by around 700 people from 3 p.m. until the mass ended at 7 p.m.
On the other hand, Villegas admitted he got approached by Advincula on April at around 8:30 a.m. at the Jesuit residence in Ateneo.
“After my breakfast, Mr. Advincula approached me, introduced himself and asked if he could talk to me. After he narrated the hardships of his life to me, I was so moved that I gave him my personal rosary blessed by Pope Francis, prayed for him, and blessed him. Soon after, I left for Dagupan City and never saw, spoke, or in any way communicated with Mr. Advincula again. This meeting lasted only for about thirty minutes, and at no point did we discuss any plan to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte, much less label him or any person close to him,” Villegas recounted.