DOJ poised to release resolution on sedition raps vs VP, et al

Published November 15, 2019, 9:39 AM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Jeffrey Damicog 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will hopefully release within the month the resolution of the sedition complaint filed against Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and her co-respondents.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO /MANILA BULLETIN)

“Maybe in a week or two the resolution will come out,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

A DOJ panel of prosecutors chaired by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas already concluded last September 12 the preliminary investigation of the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) based on the testimony of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy.

Guevarra assured that Robredo and her co-respondents can appeal before the DOJ the results of the preliminary investigation should the panel find probable cause to file charges against them in court.

“In any event, whatever resolution will come out will not be final because that’s subject to further appeals,” he explained.

The Secretary added that the results of the resolution will also have no effect on her status as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD)

“That will not in any way affect the designation or appointment of the VP as co-chair of the ICAD,” Guevarra said.

In its complaint, 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” video series which features the hooded Bikoy, who was revealed to be Advincula, who accused a number of personalities including members of the Duterte family as being involved in the illegal drugs trade.

“As averred by Mr. Advincula, he was engaged by the respondents to spread lies against the President, his family and close associate, making them appear as illegal drugs trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money,” read the PNP-CIDG complaint.

The complainant alleged that this is part of a destabilization plot meant to “to agitate the general population into making mass protest with the possibility of bringing down the president from the position and allow Vice-President Robredo to instantly succeed” and “help bring down the popularity of the administration senatorial candidates and in turn boost the campaign of Otso Diretso candidates for the 2019 mid-term elections.”

Aside from Robredo and Advincula, the respondents named in the complaint were Senators Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros and Leila de Lima as well as former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

The opposition’s losing “Otso Diretso” 2019 senatorial candidates were also named as respondents, namely, former Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, Robredo’s election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, former Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tanada III, and Samira Gutoc-Tomawis.

 
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