Leni, Leila, Bikoy face sedition raps

PNP also tags 3 bishops, 2 ex-senators in Project Sodoma

The Philippine National Police on Thursday filed inciting to sedition charges before the Department of Justice against Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, several bishops and priests, accusing them of involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” video that linked the family of President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drug trade.

Leni, Leila, Bikoy face sedition raps
Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy, Sen. Leila de Lima, Sen. Hontiveros, Antonio Trillanes IV, Paolo Benigno Aquino, and VP Robredo
In the letter-complaint, the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group asked the DOJ to prosecute the 38 respondents for inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice.

READ: Bikoy uploader rapped for ‘inciting to sedition’

Robredo, through her spokesman Barry Gutierrez, said the sedition charges filed against her and several other opposition senators and bishops were unfounded.

“If this is purely based on outrageous statement previously given by Mr. [Peter Joemel alias Bikoy] Advincula, we can confidently say this is completely baseless and nothing more than plain and simple harassment,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

Senator Francis Pangilinan also said the move was political harassment.

“The accusations were fabrication, lies and unfounded,” Pangilinan said.

He said these were the acts of the enemies of democracy because it is only the vice president who has been blocking the government’s war on drugs and the Philippines’ sale to China. 

Also named as respondents were “Otso Diretso” candidates Gary C. Alejano, Florin T. Hilbay, Romulo B. Macalintal, Jose Manuel I. Diokno, former Senator Paolo Benigno A. Aquino, Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, and Lorenzo R. Tañada III.

Included among the respondents and also named as a witness is Peter Joemel Advincula, the self-confessed “Bikoy”, the hooded man in the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos which tagged some family members of President Duterte in illegal drug activities.

Leni, Leila, Bikoy face sedition raps
Bishop Bishop Socrates Villegas, Bishop Virgilio David, and Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr.
Also impleaded as respondents were former Education Secretary and now La Salle president Armin Luistro, Jonnel Sangalang, a member of Trillanes’ Senate staff, Eduardo Acierto, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Abdiel Dan Fajardo, lawyers Minerva Ambrosio, Serafin Salvador, Philip Sawali and Egon Cayosa, former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te, and clergy members, Bishops Teodoro Bacani Jr. and Honesto Ongtico, Archbishops Pablo Virgilio David and Socrates Villegas and Frs. Robert Reyes, Flaviano Villanueva, and Albert Alejo.

Leni, Leila, Bikoy face sedition raps
Fr. Robert Reyes, Armin Luistro, and Teodoro Te
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.”

Advincula alias “Bikoy” who initially identified former Davao City vice mayor and now congressman Paolo Duterte, lawyer Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, and former

presidential assistant and now Senator Christopher Go as among those involved in the narcotics trade was included as respondent, but he would later serve as the main witness against the respondents.

In filing the complaint, the PNP-CIDG cited the sworn statement of Advincula saying that he met with the respondents to plan the conduct of “Project Sodoma” aimed allegedly at topping Duterte.

“As averred by Mr. Advincula, he was engaged by the respondents to spread lies against the President, his family and close associates, making them to appear as illegal drug trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money,” said the complaint signed by Police Lt. Colonel Arnold Thomas Ibay of the PNP-CIDG.

Advincula earlier claimed that the Ang Totoong Narco-list videos formed part of Project Sodoma, which was also aimed at discrediting pro-administration candidates while propping up those from the opposition Otso Diretso.

Advincula said the respondents had met in the Jesuit Communication Building in the Ateneo de Manila University from February to May this year to plan a campaign to “spread false information against President Duterte and his family to agitate the general population into making mass protests with the possibility of bringing down the President and allow Vice President Robredo to succeed.”

The complaint said the respondents planned and funded the creation of the video and its distribution through social media.

Libel was committed when Advincula held a press conference last May at the IBP office in Ortigas where he reiterated his accusations against the alleged illegal drug activities of members of the President’s family, the police said.

The complaint said the respondents may also be held liable for harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice since they were aware of Advincula’s status as a fugitive from law.

The PNP-CIDG, however, said a “thorough investigation was still continuing and being conducted by the Office of the NCR-CIDG which initiated the request for CCTV readings and logbook copies of the different places and establishments, invitation and served subpoenas of the involved personalities.”

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will form a panel of state prosecutors to hear the complaint and conduct the requisite preliminary investigation on the complaint.

Advincula later took back his claim and said his allegations in the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos were not true and that he was paid by Trillanes and the opposition as part of the plot to oust the President.

Apart from Trillanes, Advincula also tagged De Lima and Hontiveros as well as personalities from the Liberal Party in the alleged ouster plot.

Trillanes, De Lima, Hontiveros and the other opposition personalities Advincula tagged as part of the alleged plot have all denied his claim.

The police also had earlier discredited Advincula when he accused the President’s family of having ties to illegal drugs. With Macon Ramos-Araneta and Rio N. Araja

READ: 'Trillanes Bikoy video producer'

Topics: Philippine National Police , Department of Justice , Leni Robredo , Leila de Lima , Risa Hontiveros , Antonio Trillanes IV , “Ang Totoong Narco-list” , Rodrigo Duterte , sedition
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