De Lima denies sedition complaint

Published September 12, 2019, 1:53 PM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Jonathan Hicap

Detained Senator Leila de Lima has strongly denied the sedition complaint filed by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) against her and 35 others in connection with the “Bikoy” videos.

Sen. Leila de Lima (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/2 August 2016/Manila Bulletin)
Sen. Leila de Lima (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña / File Photo MANILA BULLETIN)

De Lima and her co-respondents are also facing complaints of inciting to sedition, cyber libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice, The case stemmed from the July 18 affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed that he was used by the respondents to act as “Bikoy” in the videos and spread lies against President Duterte, his family and close associates.

Advincula accused the President’s family and associates of being involved in illegal drugs.

In her counter-affidavit, De Lima said the “complaint is bereft of any allegations of fact or narration of any acts imputable against me that I could intelligently refute.”

She said that “in fact, my name appears only once, ie., in the aforementioned enumeration of names numbering 1 to 38. Nowhere else in the body of the complaint” and it “never identifies me as being implicated through particular acts.”

“Since the Complaint does not impute any particular act against me, it appears that I am not even considered a identified as ‘respondent,’ but merely one of those vaguely identified as ‘enumerated personalities’ against whom they have no sufficient proof to make a categorical allegation,” the senator stated.

De Lima said the libel complaint, based on Advincula’s press conference held on May 6 at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) national office in Pasig City, is baseless, since she could not have participated in the event as “I have been under the physical custody of the PNP itself.”

The senator has been in detention at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame since Feb. 14, 2017 after a Muntinlupa City court ordered her arrest in connection with a drug case filed by the Department of Justice.

She added that Advincula’s affidavit mentioned her name only in passing but not an active participant.