DOJ directs PNP-CIDG to provide complete address of respondents in sedition complaint

Maris Federez   •   July 24, 2019   •   252

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday directed the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (PNP-CIDG) to provide them complete information of those who were made respondents in the sedition complaint before the agency.

This, following the PNP-CIDG’s filing of complaint for sedition before the DOJ against Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and former Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino, in relation to the so-called Project Sodoma on Thursday (July 18).

The DOJ Panel of State Prosecutors who was tasked to conduct preliminary investigation on the complaint issued an order directing the PNP-CIDG to provide them with the complete addresses of the said respondents.

The Panel noted that the complaint filed before it does not state respondents’ complete addresses.

It added that the missing information has made it difficult for the Panel to cause service of the subpoena to respondents.

The complaints filed against the respondents were sedition, inciting to sedition, libel, cyber libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice.

The respondents refuted the complaints with one of them even regarding the charges as “hogwash” and “a piece of trash”.   (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

Protest group criticizes DOJ’s ongoing probe on sedition charges against VP Leni, et al

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2019

A protest group, Tindig Pilipinas, on Friday slammed the ongoing investigation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the sedition complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo and other members of the opposition.

Only the lawyers of VP Robredo and of the members of the opposition were present in the DOJ hearing.

The counsels of former senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino, as well as of Senator Risa Hontiveros and of Samira Gutoc, have also filed their own affidavits on the complaint.

They also appealed for the immediate dismissal of the complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG which the agency based on the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula, alias Bikoy, on the alleged Project Sodoma which purportedly aimed at toppling down the Duterte administration.

Meanwhile, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) has also filed a countersuit against Advincula and the PNP-CIDG officials.

“We just filed a complaint affidavit for perjury and use of false testimony in an official proceeding against Col. Ibay of the CIDG and Peter Advincula alias Bikoy,” said FLAG’s Atty. Rafael Aquino. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Trillanes, 3 others face kidnapping case

Robie de Guzman   •   August 30, 2019

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has filed a kidnapping with serious illegal detention charges against former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and three others before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Based on a copy of a complaint filed August 15, the complaint stemmed from the affidavit of Guillermina Lalic Barrido, a 43-year old businesswoman from Davao City.

Barrido claimed she was detained for nearly two weeks in two convents in Makati and Quezon City in December 2016, and forced to sign a document linking President Rodrigo Duterte to corruption and illegal drugs.

In 2017, Barrido accused Trillanes of trying to bribe her to make derogatory statements against Duterte.

The PNP-CIDG said in its complaint that “It is clear from the foregoing that herein respondents feloniously, maliciously and intentionally put the complainant under detention for 14 days in order to force her to do something against her will.”

Aside from Trillanes, also named as respondents to the complaint were lawyer Jude Sabio, a certain Sister Ling, and priest Albert Alejo.

It can be recalled that Sabio was the one who filed a communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Duterte campaign against illegal drugs.

In a statement, Trillanes denied Barrido’s allegation, insisting that he does not know the complainant.

“Never ko na-meet ‘yan si Guillerma Arcillas or Barrido. San ka makakita na pari at madre daw ang kasama ko sa pagkidnap at sa kumbento pa daw sya dinetain?” he said.

“Bukod pa dyan, 2016 pa raw sya kinidnap pero ngayon lang nag-file ng kaso,” he added.

Trillanes, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, said that based on the information he received, Barrido allegedly volunteered to testify against Duterte in exchange for money.

“Ang impormasyon ko d’yan ay isa siyang nagboluntaryong mag-testigo laban daw kay Duterte pero butas-butas ang kwento at nanghihingi diumano ng pera kapalit ng kanyang salaysay kaya hindi tinanggap bilang testigo. Tapos ng hindi nabigyan ng pera, bumaliktad,” he said.

The former lawmaker also called the kidnapping charge against him as “clear harassment” and “persecution” against the administration’s critics.

Sabio, Alejo and “Sister Ling” have yet to issue any statement on the issue as of posting. RRD (with details from Correspondent April Cenedoza)

Robredo counters inciting to sedition complaint, denies meeting with ‘Bikoy’

Robie de Guzman   •   August 29, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo filed her counter-affidavit for the sedition case filed against her on Thursday, August 29, 2019, at the Department of Justice in Manila. VP Leni signed her counter-affidavit and swore under oath before DOJ Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas. (Photo by Charlie Villegas / OVP)

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday (August 28) denied allegations she met Peter Joemel Advincula, who accused the former of being behind the online videos linking the Duterte family to narcotics trade.

In her counter-affidavit in relation to inciting to sedition complaint filed against her by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), Robredo maintained she did not take part in an alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte administration, through a meeting supposedly held at the Ateneo de Manila University on March 4, 2019.

Robredo filed her counter-affidavit at the Department of Justice, personally appearing to sign it under oath before Justice Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas. She was accompanied by her lawyer, Marlon Manuel.  

Along with her counter-affidavit, Robredo also provided photos, news reports and other documentation to prove that she was in Bulacan on March 4 for official engagements.

Advincula, who claimed to be the hooded figure ‘Bikoy’ in the online “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series, earlier said the videos were orchestrated by the opposition Liberal Party under the guidance of Senator Antonio Trillanes III.

He said he met with Robredo and other opposition members in March to discuss “Project Sodoma” – an alleged plot to oust Duterte.

He also accused Robredo and other opposition members of forcing him to speak lies about the Duterte family’s supposed links to the narcotics trade.

Robredo and other opposition figures have earlier denied Advincula’s claims.

Robredo said the evidence she submitted to the DOJ will prove that Advincula’s allegations were “impossible” and an “outright lie”.

She also slammed the statement made by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), acting as counsel to the PNP-CIDG in an Omnibus Comment it filed earlier, which erroneously insisted that she “repeatedly met” with Advincula.

This, Robredo noted, “directly contradicts” the allegation the witness-respondent made in his Sinumpaang Salaysay.

OSG’s claims, she said, clearly “underscores that the purported charges are aimed at hounding and oppressing me simply because I am perceived as critical of the current administration.”

“The false and perjurious Sinumpaang Salaysay and the Letter-Complaint should be viewed with the highest degree of caution and suspicion not only because of the unreliable nature of the allegations as discussed above, but because of the very nature of the charges itself,” Robredo’s counter-affidavit read.

“It has been held that ‘[s]edition is the crime usually resorted to by tyrants as a pretext to silence or suppress those persons who have the firmness of character to oppose them and expose their abuses.’”

Atty. Manuel noted that there are no other allegations stated against the Vice President, and that the charges were based solely on Advincula’s Sinumpaang Salaysay.

“Isa lang iyong paragraph na nag-aakusa sa kaniya ng isang gawain na diumano ay isang krimen. May pitong krimen na isinama doon sa reklamo laban sa kaniya at iyon ang isinagot namin at pinatunayan namin na kasinungalingan—iyong nakalagay doon sa counter-affidavit na siya ay dumalo sa isang diumano ay pagpupulong sa Ateneo na ginawa noong March 4,” he told reporters after the filing.

“Wala nang ibang ebidensya. And as far as the Vice President is concerned, it’s just that one paragraph that accuses her of a direct action—and that is a complete falsehood,” he added.

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