Vice President’s camp hits SolGen for ‘singling out’ sedition raps vs Robredo
Robie de Guzman • July 25, 2019 • 807
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday hit the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) for allegedly singling out the charges filed against Robredo and other known opposition members.
Robredo’s spokesperson, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, said the OSG should come up with a satisfactory explanation on its move to assist in the drafting of the raps filed against the vice president.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) last week filed charges of sedition, cyber libel and obstruction of justice against Robredo and other opposition members based on the affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be the hooded figure ‘Bikoy’ in a series of videos dubbed as “Ang Totoong Narcolist.”
Last May, Advincula accused Robredo and other opposition members of orchestrating the videos as part of an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Prior to his allegations against Robredo, Advincula accused Duterte and members of his family of having links to the narcotics trade.
PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde earlier said they consulted the OSG prior to the filing of the complaint.
The OSG also confirmed its assistance in the drafting of the charges, insisting that part of its duty is to serve its clients when they seek legal advice. It also clarified that their client was the PNP-CIDG and not ‘Bikoy’.
“Even if they say legally pwede naman i-allow ito dahil walang express prohibition, I think they still have to explain if it is true na talagang sila nga ang nag-draft, why in this particular case they chose to participate and make single it out from other cases?” Gutierrez said.
He added that OSG’s alleged involvement in the case shows that the complaint against Robredo is “politically-motivated,” and was only filed in an aim to impeach the vice president.
“We are very, very bothered by these statements na impeachment pala talaga ang patutunguhan nito mukhang mayroong hand ang OSG dito kasi in all of that taken together which seem to indicate na this is not an ordinary criminal proceeding but this is really politically motivated to harass the Vice President,” Gutierrez said.
Atty. Larry Gadon, the lawyer of Advincula, earlier said he would file an impeachment against Robredo if she is indicted for sedition and inciting to sedition charges.
Gutierrez said Robredo and her legal team are now preparing to face the accusers in court.
“The Vice president is ready to face whatever trumped-up charges will be brought against her,” he said. (with details from Grace Casin)
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo’s actions – deemed as missteps – as the country’s co-chairperson of the government’s ant-illegal drug campaign has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to decide against giving her a Cabinet post, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president’s decision follows Robredo’s meetings with officials from the United Nations and the United States and other community-based advocacy groups after she accepted the appointment to co-lead the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD).
“The Vice President talking with – and seeking the advice of – certain foreign institutions and personalities that have prejudged the campaign against illegal drugs as a violation of human rights, as well as a crime against humanity, did not sit well with the President,” Panelo said in a statement.
“The VP’s actions are all documented in mainstream and social media,” he added.
“These missteps not only derailed PRRD’s [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] well-meaning intent for the Vice President to be part of the administration, but registered red signs that could not be ignored,” he further stated.
Panelo also said that Robredo’s request to get access to classified information on the government’s war on drugs, including the list of high-value targets, was a “revelation of which could imperil the welfare of the Filipino people and the security of the state.”
He said this added to the chief executive’s reconsideration of his earlier offer to give her a Cabinet post.
“Being a member of the Cabinet gives Ms. Robredo unlimited access to sensitive State matters which, if transmitted by her, whether purposely or otherwise could result to adverse consequences, especially since the VP has the tendency to be generous with acquired information and knowledge to others whose predilection may not be in the best interest of the country,” the Palace official said.
“I have not signed an appointment designating her as a cabinet,” the president said.
The president previously said he will appoint Robredo as a Cabinet member if she becomes anti-drug czar.
“I will swear her as a Cabinet member. First, balik siya so that she will have the authority. Eh alam mo ang Cabinet members are alter ego lang ng Presidente ‘yan. So kung may gawain ang Cabinet member, it is as if it is mine. So to make it legal, just a little fiat. Hindi na kailangan na mag-ano pa ako sa Congress. I will just make her the — a Cabinet member. Tapos, all drug cases and all things, matters in connection with drugs iyo na ‘yan hanggang katapusan ng term ko,” Duterte said in a media interview on Oct. 31.
The chief executive earlier threatened to fire Robredo as ICAD’s co-chair if she divulged confidential information on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.
The vice president on Monday assured that no sensitive information will be disclosed.
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo’s role as co-chairperson of the inter-agency committee on anti-illegal drugs (ICAD) is not a Cabinet-level position, Malacañang said.
In a message to reporters on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Robredo is not a member of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet and that the post she was recently given was not a Cabinet rank.
“The post she was appointed to is not a Cabinet level. The discretion to appoint her as a member of the Cabinet, in addition to her appointment as the anti-illegal drug czar lies with the President,” he said.
Early this month, Robredo accepted the task to co-lead the government’s campaign against drugs, which the Palace previously said is a Cabinet-level position.
Robredo earlier said she will only attend Cabinet meetings if she is invited, adding that it was not specified whether her new task is a Cabinet position when she received the appointment.
Prior to Panelo’s message, Duterte said in an interview with GMA on Monday that he did not designate Robredo as part of his Cabinet.
“I have not signed an appointment designating her as a cabinet,” the president said. “You know why? Early on she was talking right and left that she would talk to this and talk to that.”
“In the Cabinet meeting, we talk about what’s happening. Eh kung marinig nya yan dyan tapos dadaldal niya sa labas?” he added.
“Unang-una, Leni hindi tayo magka-partido. Hindi ako suspetsoso pero kung may makita ka diyan para ibuhos mo sa akin o ibigay mo doon sa iba para ibuhos sa akin… ‘Yan ang problema. Kung kapartido tayo, walang problema,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will conform with whatever decision the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will come up with on furnishing Vice President Leni Robredo a copy of their list of high-value targets, in her capacity as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD).
This after PDEA Director-General Aaron Aquino said that he is ready to present the said list to Robredo but only on closed-door meeting in the presence of personnel with security clearance.
Aquino has earlier refused to have the vice president furnished with the copy as it may compromise their operation, saying “the list is considered classified information that is why not everybody must have a copy of it.”
He added that if the list is given to the vice president, they will not have a way of knowing who else might see and learn of its content.
“Sa pinaka simpleng explanation — kapag binigay namin ang listahan kay VP Robredo hindi na namin alam kung sino sino ang magkakaroon ng access sa listahan. That will compromise our negation operations,” Aquino said.
Aquino also cited the “need to know rule” in law enforcement where not everybody is given access to sensitive and classified information.
Meanwhile, PNP Officer-in-Charge PLtGen. Archie Gamboa said Robredo’s request may already be immaterial as the ICAD decides as a collegial body.
“Fine, if you want to review the law enforcement campaign. But would it really matter if you know who are on the list? So yes, I adhere to what PDEA Director General says,” Gamboa said.
The PNP chief once again advised VP Robredo to focus on the advocacy and the rehabilitation aspect of the campaign against illegal drugs.
Gamboa said the vice president must entrust the aspect of law enforcement to the agencies that have full know-how on the matter.
“Why would the VP not take the advocacy and the rehabilitation? Law enforcement and prosecution or on the justice could be best left to those who know it.” (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf
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