Two leaders of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on Thursday denied allegations that they were part of a scheme to oust President Rodrigo Duterte after they were implicated by Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy
in the supposed plot.
In a statement, former CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas denied any plan linking him to oust the President, saying his role as a priest is to morally guide the public based on the teachings of the Church and not to overthrow the government.
CBCP vice president Bishop Pablo David also denied Advincula’s claim, saying he never met with people allegedly looking to oust the President.
“He [Bikoy] is claiming that he had attended a meeting with me and Senator [Antonio] Trillanes [IV] and a certain Jonel at my residence Caloocan City. I wish to make it clear that I have never had the privilege of meeting with Senator Trillanes in person and I do not know the Jonel he was talking about,” David said.
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“I believe in the power of electing officials; that is why I have tried my very best, as a priest and as a Filipino, to morally guide the people entrusted to my pastoral care,” said Villegas.
Villegas said he was elsewhere when Advincula, who claimed to be “Bikoy,” said they supposedly met.
“On the day and time, Dec. 12, 2018 in the evening, that I allegedly met with some plotters to overthrow the government, I was in the parish church of Orani in Bataan to deliver the homily at the first Mass of a friend newly ordained priest,” he said.
Advincula claimed that he met Villegas along with several other personalities in Quezon City on that same date.
“As a mortal being like the rest of us, I have no capacity to be in two places at the same time,” he added.
For his part, David insisted that he did not meet Advincula and criticized the Philippine National Police for failing to focus instead on unresolved killings.
Advincula claims to be behind the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” video series
that linked the Dutertes to the illegal drug trade.
He surfaced three weeks later to confirm his accusations, then recanted his allegations and instead tagged opposition personalities as being behind the video series.
All of those named have denied the latest allegations of Advincula, who has pending cases for estafa and illegal recruitment, and who has peddled conspiracy theories before.
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