The Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a perjury case against Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy,” over lies he allegedly stated in his testimonies concerning the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series.
The DoJ filed the case last Jan. 12 before the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) after finding probable cause to indict him with perjury based on the complaint filed by Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) lawyers former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada, Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, and former Supreme Court (SC) spokesperson Theodore Te.
“After a careful examination of the above affidavits and evidence attached thereto, the undersigned finds that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the crime of violation of Articles 183 of the RPC (Revised Penal Code) has been committed,” the DoJ said in a resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutor Ferdinand Fernandez with the approving signatures of Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.
The FLAG lawyers filed their complaint before the DoJ last Sept. 6 after the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) named them among 36 respondents in the sedition case filed at the DoJ concerning their alleged involvement in the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos based on the testimonies made by Advincula.
The DoJ released on Feb. 7, 2020 a resolution on the sedition case and the three FLAG lawyers were among those cleared over their involvement in viral videos which accused family members of President Duterte and other personalities of being involved in illegal drugs activities.
In their complaint, the FLAG lawyers accused Advincula and Police Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay of the PNP-CIDG National Capital Region Office of perjury and offering false testimony as evidence in an official proceeding in violation of Articles 183 and 184, respectively, of the RPC.
Advincula issued a sworn affidavit before government prosecutors which stated that the FLAG lawyers are part of “Project: Sodoma” which is aimed at discrediting the Duterte administration including the creation of the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos.
He claimed in his testimonies that he met those involved with Project Sodoma, including Tanada and Diokno, at around 4 p.m. on March 4, 2019 at the Leong Hall at the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) in Quezon City.
Advincula said he again met with members of Project Sodoma on May 2, 2019, including Te.
“Evidence shows that complainants Diokno and Tanada were present at the at the Ateneo de Manila University on 04 March 2019 and attended a Senatorial Candidates Forum organized by Rappler and the Political Science Department of the same University,” said the resolution on the perjury case which noted that the event was covered by different print and broadcast media.
“Clearly, such allegation in planning ‘Project Sodoma’ at Leong Hall of the Ateneo de Manila University campus is an outright lie and perjurious considering that they were there for the purpose of attending a debate entitled ‘#The Leader I Want Senatorial Forum,” it ruled.
Also, the resolution pointed out it was Advincula who sought out Te to seek legal assistance.
“After the meeting, he (Te) made known to FLAG National Chairperson, complainant Diokno, his reservation as to the lack of credibility of respondent Advincula,” cited the resolution.
On the other hand, the resolution cleared Ibay of both perjury and for offering false testimony as evidence due to insufficiency of evidence.
The resolution also dismissed the case of offering false testimony as evidence against Advincula also due to insufficient evidence.
Manila MeTC Branch 17 has issued an arrest warrant against Advincula with the bail set at P18,000.