Sedition, other raps vs opposition, bishops
LATEST UPDATE: February 18, 2020 - 12:14pm
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February 18, 2020

Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV posts bail for the conspiracy to commit sedition case pending before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138.

February 18, 2020

Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV arrives in Manila from the United States. He is set to post bail on Tuesday over the sedition case filed against him and several others. 

February 17, 2020

Peter Joemel Bikoy, the man who claims to be the "Bikoy" in the series of anonymous videos that the government says is part of a conspiracy against President Rodrigo Duterte, has posted bail at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court.

He, as well as former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, and others have been indicted on Conspiracy to Commit Sedition charges.

February 14, 2020

Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV says he is ready to face the harassment cases filed by "Duterte's minions" against him.

Trillanes is currently out of the country for some engagements. He says he intend to post bail upon returning to the Philippines next week.  

February 14, 2020

Days after the indictment, arrest warrants have been issued against opposition figure former Sen. Antono Trillanes IV and 11 others, who are accused of Conspiracy to Commit Sedition in relation to the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video blogs, according to news reports.

Here's the developing story.

September 13, 2019

Former Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo party-list) and Jonnell Sangalang of Magdalo have filed a Petition for Prohibition with the Court of Appeals on Friday in a bid to stop a Department of Justice Panel of Prosecutors from proceeding on its preliminary investigation into sedition and other raps filed against them and other members of the opposition over the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos that the government said they conspired on to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to a press release, Alejano and Sangalang are claiming that, under the Prosecution Service Act, the Justice secretary "has no power to act directly on a complaint which does not involve any crime against national security."

"It follows that the Prosecution Panel is similarly bereft of authority to conduct the preliminary investigation," they also say.

The two are also questioning the involvement of the Office of the Solicitor General in the preliminary investigation as lawyers for the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

"It’s obvious that this administration is using these two agencies for political persecution, to bully its critics, in deliberate deviance of the Prosecution Service Act, P.D. 478 and the Administrative Code. It is our position that the Court should intervene to stop this continuing and deliberate disregard of the law," Alejano says.

August 20, 2019

Sen. Leila De Lima, who is detained on drug-related charges, has asked the Department of Justice to disallow the Office of the Solicitor General from appearing as counsel for the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the sedition complaints against her and other people identified with the political opposition.

In a motion filed last week, De Lima said it is "illegal and improper" for Solicitor General Jose Calida to appear as counsel for the PNP-CIDG in the complaints.

Citing the Supreme Court ruling in Urbano v. Chavez, De Lima says the OSG has no authority to participate in the preliminary investigation stage of criminal proceedings  because it also represents the Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals in all criminal proceedings.

August 12, 2019

Human rights group Karapatan condemns the filing of a sedition complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo and other personalities identified with the political opposition and the clergy.

"In this dictatorial regime that is manipulating all the branches of government by implementing fascist rules, the cases being filed against opposition personalities, mostly human rights defenders and Church leaders in the Philippines, truly leave us in distress and alarm," says Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay in a statement. 

"This recent move initiated by the Duterte regime, alongside the countless human rights violations it has committed against Filipino people, especially the poor, human rights defenders, and activists, shows us how Duterte and his associates are willing to persecute their critics just to have full control over the country and for them to be able to exploit its resources," she also says.

August 9, 2019

Lawyers' group Mananggol Laban sa Extra-judicial Killings (Manlaban sa EJK) calls for the dropping of raps against its members over their supposed involvement in an alleged conspiracy against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, the group says it "stands behind its convenors and demands the dropping of sedition charges against Chel Diokno, Florin Hilbay, Erin Tañada, Egon Cayosa, Minerva 'June' Ambrosio, alongside former [Integrated Bar of the Philippines] president Ade Fajardo and 30 other government critics."

The group points out that the raps are based on the testimony of Peter Joemel Advincula, "whom PNP Chief [Oscar] Albayalde earlier called a 'peddler of information'." Advincula initially stood by allegations that Duterte and his family and allies are linked to illegal drugs but recanted in a press conference at the PNP headquarters.

"Duterte is not the state, no matter the self-aggrandizement. Attacks on him, his conduct, his character, must not be confused with direct attacks on the state. Criticism of his policies and governance are all allowable under the mantle of democratic struggle," the group says.

August 8, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo files a Motion for Production and Copying of Evidence in the inciting to sedition complaint filed against her and others associated with the political opposition.

Robredo is asking the Department of Justice to order the Philippine National Police to produce evidence in the sedition complaint filed against her.

Under the Rules of Court, a court may, upon the motion of any party, "order any party to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing, by or on behalf of the moving party, of any designated documents... or tangible things, not privileged, which constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in the action and which are in his possession, custody or control."

August 5, 2019

Peter Joemel Advincula, the man claiming to be the "Bikoy" in the anonymously posted videos, is applying to get into the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice, News 5 reports.

Advincula is among the respondents in the inciting to sedition complaint filed by the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group against members of the political opposition and of the clergy.

The complaint is based on Advincula's affidavit, which an ABS-CBN News report says the Office of the Solicitor General may have helped prepare.

The OSG has not given details on its involvement in the case but has confirmed that the CIDG is its client but Advincula is not.

July 28, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo says Solicitor General Jose Calida should shift his attention to addressing the more than a million backlog of cases in his office, rather than meddling in complaints targeting the perceived critics of the administration. 

Robredo says this on the heels of news about the involvement of Calida’s office in the sedition complaint filed against her and other opposition and church figures.

READ: SolGen insists authority on assisting PNP in 'Bikoy' cases

"Ang dami ngang paliwanag kung bakit kabahagi [ang Office of the Solicitor General dito]. Pero hindi naipapaliwanag bakit ito iyong inaatupag [na may] napakaraming kaso na [ng OSG]," Robredo says in her weekly radio show BISErbisyong LENI on DZXL-RMN 558 radio. 

"Ang inaatupag, kasinungalingan; ang star witness, sinungaling na tao pero iyon iyong pinapaniwalaan nila. Ang dami-daming kaso sa opisina nila, hindi inaasikaso."

July 26, 2019

Justice Secretary Menandro Guevarra says investigation on sedition raps against Vice President Leni Robredo and others will start "very soon" and that subpoenas may may be issued on Friday.

"I assure everyone of utmost fairness in the resolution of this case," he says.

July 25, 2019

Malacañang distances itself from lawyer Larry Gadon's plan to file impeachment complaints against Vice President Leni Robredo and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. 

"Eh 'di bahala siya sa sarili niya. Sa kanyang diskarte yun, hayaan mo siya (It's up to him. That's his move). Every citizen has the right to do anything legal under the constitution. But whether it will succeed or not, it will prosper or not, that's another thing," presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo says in a press briefing. 

"The Palace never interferes, intrudes, in the domain of other branches," he adds.

Panelo says it would be up to Congress to act on the impeachment complaint to be filed by Gadon, a known critic of the opposition. 

"Let Congress decide. That's their job," the presidential spokesman says. "We'll just watch in amusement." — The STAR/Alexis Romero

July 24, 2019

Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, chairman of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Mutual Relations, says Peter Joemel Advincula who claims to be "Bikoy," the person behind a video series linking the Duterte family to illegal drugs, has no credibility as a witness and can be considered as "fake news."

The PNP has filed sedition and other cases against members of the opposition and the Catholic Church based on claims made by Advincula.

"Well that is definitely parang fake news para sa akin sapagkat ang witness diyan is not credible himself, dapat nga we should really follow the due process na pakinggan din yung other side to it, alam din natin na maraming fabrication na mga charges ngayon among innocent people so dapat we should really follow the due process here at susundin din natin ang batas tungkol dito," Ledesma tells Radio Veritas.

July 24, 2019

Lawyer Larry Gadon, reacting to an ABS-CBN article on the Office of the Solicitor General's possible involvement in preparing the police complaint over the "Bikoy" videos, says he has no knowledge of the OSG's participation in the case.

He says the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group may have consulted the OSG after Peter Joemel Advincula's statement was taken.

"It is perfectly normal for any government office, government agency to seek the advice or consult the OSG for correction of any legal matter in line with their work,  there is nothing wrong nor sinister with that since the OSG is the lawyer of the government," Gadon also says.

"All agencies consult the OSG."

He adds: "The acts of OSG in giving advise should not be translated right away into oppresssion of opposition otherwise the OSG will be stifled. This will result to paralysis of their function."

July 24, 2019

Human Rights Watch is urging the government to drop complaints of inciting to sedition and other raps agaist Vice President Leni Robredo, other members of the opposition as well as members of the clergy.

The complaint, filed by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, is based on allegations by Peter Joemel Advincula, who claims he appeared in anonymously posted videos alleging President Rodrigo Duterte, members of his family and his allies are involved in illegal drugs.

The government had questioned Advincula's credibility when he appeared in a hastily called press conference to say that the allegations in the video were true. He later recanted in a press conference at the national police headquarters.

"The preposterous complaint against the vice president and the others is a transparent attempt to harass and silence critics of President Duterte's bloody 'drug war,'" said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, says in the HRW release. 

"Threatening criminal charges against the vice president, outspoken bishops, and rights lawyers suggests that Duterte's egregious human rights record is catching up with him."

July 19, 2019

The Palace has nothing to do with inciting to sedition raps that the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed against members of the political opposition, including Vice President Leni Robredo as well as against members of the clergy, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo says in an interview on ANC.

"We have nothing to do with this case. Not at all," Panelo, who held two press conferences on the supposed "matrix" of personalities that he alleged are conspiring to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte though the anonymously posted "Bikoy" videos.

The PNP-CIDG's complaint is centered on allegations by Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claims to be the "Bikoy" in the videos and who initially said he stood by the claims made in them. At a press conference weeks later at the PNP headquarters, Advincula recanted and claimed members of the opposition were behind the videos.

Panelo also says administration supporter and Marcos loyalisy Larry Gadon's involvement in the case as Advincula's lawyer does not mean the Palace is involved.

"Larry Gadon has nothing to do with us. Larry Gadon is a lawyer who accepts clients," he says.


July 18, 2019

The Liberal Party calls the sedition and other cases filed against Vice President Leni Robredo, Catholic bishops and other critics of President Rodrigo Duterte as political harassment and persecution.

"Gawa-gawa, kasinungalingan, at walang basehan sa katotohanan ang mga paratang," the opposition party says in a statement.

"Ginagawa ito ng mga kalaban ng demokrasya dahil si VP na lang ang nakaharang sa kanilang hangarin na ituloy ang patayan sa huwad na war on drugs nang walang nananagot, ang pagbenta ng Pilipinas sa China, at ang panghabambuhay na paghahari-harian nila sa bansa."

July 18, 2019

"Kwentong kutsero na pinilit gawing batayan sa kaso," this is what Office of the Vice President spokesperson Barry Gutierrez says about the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group's filing of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice charges against Vice President Leni Robredo and at least 35 others.

"We have yet to receive a copy of the said referral. As soon as we do, we will refer it to the VP’s lawyers for study and appropriate action. 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 adds in a statement.

Updates on raps filed against Vice President Robredo and dozens of others based on claims of estafa convict Peter Advincula.

View full article here.

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