The Philippine National Police (PNP) has filed a sedition complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo, several senators and opposition personalities in connection with videos annotated by a certain Bikoy, who linked members of the Duterte family to illegal drugs.
The PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on Thursday filed the complaint against Robredo, Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, former senators Paolo Benigno Aquino and Antonio Trillanes IV, members of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate except Mar Roxas, and several others.
Peter Joemel Advincula, alias "Bikoy," the man who claims to be the hooded figure who made the allegations in the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos, was named in the complainant both as a respondent and as a witness.
The police also filed charges for inciting to sedition, cyber libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice against a total of 38 respondents, including one alias "Sentrix" and one unnamed man before the Department of Justice.
Villegas, other respondents
Among others, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Vice President Pablo Virgilio David, activist priest Robert Reyes, former Education secretary Armin Luistro, officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and former Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te were also named as respondents.
The DOJ has already indicted one man for inciting to sedition over the controversial series of anti-Duterte videos — Rodel Jayme, the creator of a website that was allegedly among those that shared the videos. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
This time, the PNP alleged that Advincula claimed that the respondents engaged him to "spread lies against the president, his family and close associate, making them to appear as illegal drug trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money."
‘False information vs. Duterte kin’
Their transmittal letter to the DOJ alleged that the respondents planned to spread false information against Duterte's family inside the Ateneo De Manila University compound "sometime from February to May 2019."
The PNP also accused the respondents of libel over Advincula's press conference at the IBP national office in Ortigas last May 6. Advincula at the time stood by his allegations, only to surrender to the police weeks later and claim the Liberal Party was behind the Bikoy videos.
The PNP further alleged that the respondents harbored Advincula, an estafa convict who still faces a pending estafa complaint at the DOJ, in several places despite knowing he was a fugitive.
The copy of the PNP complaint was not made available to reporters.
In a press release, the DOJ said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will form a panel of prosecutors who will investigate the complaint.
‘Harassment, plain and simple’
Robredo's spokesman, Barry Gutierrez, said the Vice President had yet to recive a copy of the complaint.
"But if this is purely based on the outrageous statement previously given by Mr. Advincula, we can confidently say this is completely baseless and nothing more than plain and simple harassment," Gutierrez said in a statement.
"Kwentong kutsero na pinilit gawing batayan sa kaso," he added. —NB, GMA News