A Manila metropolitan trial court (MeTC) recalled the arrest order it issued against Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy,” for his failure to attend the arraignment on his perjury case last July 22.
“The Court hereby recalls the bench warrant issued last July 22, 2021 and reinstates accused’s previous bail bond under the same terms and conditions,” MeTC Judge Karla A. Funtila Abugan said in the order dated July 26, 2021.
Judge Abugan also said in her order:
“Accused admitted in his motion that he was duly notified of the schedule of his arraignment; that despite his willingness to attend the same, he was constrained by the travel restrictions and requirements from his place of origin and the fact that he is not yet vaccinated; and, that typhoon Fabian further prevented him from traveling from Bicol to Manila.
“Finding the grounds for accused’s failure to attend the hearing last July 22, 2021 meritorious and in view of his manifestation that he has no intention of evading his arraignment, the Court grants the motion.
“The Court further warns that accused’s failure to attend the scheduled arraignment and pre-trial conference of this case on August 26, 2021 at 8:30 in the morning shall merit appropriate sanction.”
Advincula’s motion was filed by his counsel Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon
The perjury case against Advincula was filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) last Jan. 12.
The case stemmed from the complaint of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) members former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada, Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, and former Supreme Court (SC) spokesperson Theodore Te.
The FLAG lawyers, in turn, were among 36 respondents in the complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) before the DOJ in connection with their alleged involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos based on the testimonies made by Advincula.
Advincula admitted being the hooded “Bikoy” in the video series which accused family members of President Duterte as being involved in illegal drugs.
He also claimed the FLAG lawyers were part of “Project Sodoma” that created the videos with the alleged aim of discrediting the Duterte administration.
Last Feb. 7, the DOJ released a resolution in the sedition complaint and cleared the three FLAG lawyers.