Bishop denies meeting  ouster âplottersâ
Villegas stressed: “As a mortal being like the rest of us, I have no capacity to be in two places at the same time.”
Bishop denies meeting ouster ‘plotters’
Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2019 - 12:00am

DAGUPAN CITY , Philippines  —  Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has denied meeting with some plotters to overthrow the government of President Duterte as alleged by Peter Joemel Advincula, the man claiming to be “Bikoy” in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video.

In a statement issued yesterday, Villegas said he was delivering a homily during the period that Advincula specified in his affidavit.

“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, a newly ordained priest,” the statement read in part.

Villegas stressed: “As a mortal being like the rest of us, I have no capacity to be in two places at the same time.”

On Facebook, he re-posted the video of Rev. Fr. Jersey Prepose’s Thanksgiving Mass on Dec. 12, 2018 at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Orani.

Villegas, former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, also said that he is a priest and his “mission is to continue the love of Jesus Christ and to teach His Truth always.”

He said he believes in the power of electing officials and for which reason he tried his best “as a priest and as a Filipino to morally guide the people entrusted to my pastoral care.”

The prelate added that he cannot and will never lend a hand to using illegal or violent means for social change as this will only “weaken our democratic foundations” and this “is contrary to my Christian conscience.”

Advincula has identified Villegas as among the personalities present at a meeting on Dec. 12, 2018 at the Jesuit Residence of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City as part of “Project Sodoma,” the supposed plot to oust President Duterte that was hatched by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and to install Vice President Leni Robredo as the country’s next chief executive.

Aside from Villegas, a man named Jonel and a certain Fr. Robert were also allegedly present at the meeting that focused on how to make noise during the elections and to make public their story that members of Duterte’s family and some of his allies were involved in the illegal drug trade.

More denials

Caloocan Bishop Pablo David also denied meeting Trillanes at his parish on Feb. 9 as alleged by Advincula.

“Last Monday, ‘Bikoy’ appeared in another press conference sponsored by the PNP (Philippine National Police) claiming that he had attended a meeting with me and Senator Trillanes and a certain Jonel at my residence in Caloocan City,” he posted in his Facebook account.

“First of all, 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, current CBCP vice president, urged the police to focus on solving the incidents of extrajudicial killings instead of wasting time and effort to prove true the allegations made by Advincula.

“As far as I know, most of the thousands of killings called DUI (Death Under Investigation) remain ‘under investigation’, meaning unresolved,” he said in the post.

He added that he is puzzled by the PNP stance.

“What I find most strange about the PNP’s apparent seriousness in wanting to investigate the allegations of ‘Bikoy’ is that when it was people close to the President whom he was earlier implicating, they immediately called him a liar.

Now that he has changed his story and is implicating practically all personalities in the opposition – insinuating that he had merely been used by them in a supposedly well-orchestrated plot to unseat the government – ‘his truth’ (according to the PNP director) needs to be investigated,” David said.

He pointed out that it was during a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office that Advincula first publicly came out accusing members of Duterte’s family as being linked to the illegal drug trade. 

However, this reportedly changed when Advincula appeared at a press conference in PNP headquarters in Camp Crame. It was during this time that Trillanes, the Liberal Party and several other personalities were accused of plotting against Duterte and members of his family.           – With Evelyn Macairan

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