Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Riza Hontiveros and several former senatorial candidates are expected to be cleared by the Justice department of sedition and other charges in connection with the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos.
But sources in the department said the prosecutors recommended the criminal indictment of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and those involved in the preparation and circulation of the controversial “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos―including Peter Joemel Advincula who confessed that he was the narrator in the video who called himself “Bikoy.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Sunday the panel of prosecutors came out with its resolution on the case on Friday afternoon, but the details of the resolution would be officially released today, Monday.
Under the rules, the resolutions of the panel of prosecutors could still be appealed before the Office of the Justice secretary through a petition for review.
The charges filed against Robredo and the others stemmed from the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that features the hooded “Bikoy” and accuses a number of personalities―including the members of the family of President Rodrigo Duterte―of involvement in the illegal drugs trade in the country.
The complaints were filed on July 18, 2019 by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region Field Unit.
The PNP-CIDG submitted the sworn statement of Advincula detailing his supposed meetings with the respondents and how they planned the so-called “Project Sodoma.”
Project Sodoma allegedly sought to publicly discredit the President and destabilize his administration by implicating him, his family and other government officials in the illegal drug trade.
The Project, which was planned as early as August 2018, was also intended allegedly to derail the senatorial bid of the candidates under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago in the last election and at the same time prop up those from the opposition Otso Diretso.
“As averred by Mr. [Peter Joemel] Advincula who was also named in the complaints and would be utilized as state witness and who admitted he was the ‘‘Bikoy’’ in the videos, he was engaged by the respondents to spread lies against the President, his family and close associates―making them appear as illegal trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money, the complaints said.
The complaints also alleged that the circulation of the series of videos was part of a destabilization plot meant “to agitate the general population into making mass protest with the possibility of bringing down the President from the position and allow Vice President Robredo to instantly succeed” and “help bring down the popularity of the administration senatorial candidates and in turn boost the campaign of Otso Diretso candidates for the 2019 mid-term elections.”
Besides Robredo, Advincula, and Trillanes, the other respondents named in the complaint included Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima.
Also named respondents in the complaint were losing “Otso Diretso” 2019 senatorial candidates former Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, Robredo’s election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, former Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino, former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, and Samira Gutoc-Tomawis.
Also included in the complaint were Archbishops Pablo Virgilio David and Socrates Villegas, Bishop Teodoro Bacani and Honesto Ongtico, Bro. Armin Luistro and clergy members Robert Reyes and Albert Alejo, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, incumbent IBP president Egon Cayosa, lawyers Minerva Ambrosio, Theodore Te, Serafin Salvador, and Philip Sawali.