Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Villanueva-Miranda has asked the prosecutors if they could subpoena lawyer Jude Sabio, who claimed in a newspaper column that he was hired to lawyer for Peter Joemel Advincula, and to consider Guillermina Lalic Barrido and a certain Perfecto Tagalog to testify against Robredo and others.
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DOJ questions motive behind new evidence against VP, others
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - September 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has questioned the motives of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) when it attempted to submit additional new evidence on the sedition case that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and several others, during the resumption of preliminary investigation of the case the other day.

Assistant Solicitor General Angelita Villanueva-Miranda has asked the prosecutors if they could subpoena lawyer Jude Sabio, who claimed in a newspaper column that he was hired to lawyer for Peter Joemel Advincula, and to consider Guillermina Lalic Barrido and a certain Perfecto Tagalog to testify against Robredo and others.

Advincula is the hooded man named “Bikoy” in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, who later admitted the accusations in the video against President Duterte, his family and allies in the supposed illegal drug trade were false, and that former senator Antonio Trillanes IV and certain members of the opposition were behind the production.

Sabio is the lawyer who filed a criminal case against Duterte in the International Criminal Court (ICC), while Barrido and Tagalog claim that Trillanes was behind false accusations against the President and certain members of his family.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas, however, denied Miranda’s motion, saying that they “should not be subjected to any fishing expedition” as she emphasized that the OSG had manifested in the previous hearing on Aug. 9 that it no longer intends to submit additional evidence as “the complaint is already complete.”

Torrevillas, who chaired the special panel of prosecutors, said that at a certain point the presentation of evidence should end and “we cannot forever wait for any evidence that may belatedly come. So we strongly object to any motion or presentation of any evidence.”

She added, “Do you remember during the last hearing? It was you who said, categorically, that the complaint is already complete. So, the panel is no longer expecting any supplemental complaint or additional evidence and now you are saying that you will be submitting additional evidence?”

Torrevillas further disclosed, “So, if you will be submitting additional evidence, again respondents will be given additional time to respond. Will that not cause delay, attorney?”

Miranda, however, said that she expressed reservations when she said that they had completed their complaints during the hearing on Aug. 9, and eventually gave in to the prosecutors after she was mocked by some of the lawyers of the 35 respondents in the sedition case the CIDG filed against them.

She also emphasized that they are not delaying any hearing of the case.

But Torrevillas stressed that they just relied on the OSG’s previous manifestations, as she emphasized that they respect the rights of the 35 respondents in the sedition cases.

The OSG is representing the CIDG in the sedition case filed against Robredo and several opposition figures, including some Church officials, which stemmed from their alleged involvement in the ouster plot against Duterte through the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos.

Shortly after the verbal tussle between the DOJ and the OSG, Miranda told reporters that they were deprived by the justice department of their rights to present new evidence in the CIDG’s case against Robredo and others.

“This is a denial of due process on our part, on the part of the government,” Miranda said.

She said that they will exhaust all legal remedies so that they will be given the right to file an affidavit as she emphasized their “right not be denied due process.”

Before the court adjourned the hearing, some respondents filed their counter-affidavits denying involvement in the supposed ouster plot against Duterte. They also denied knowing Advincula.

The court granted the request of detained opposition Sen. Leila de Lima to submit her counter-affidavit on Sept. 9, and was given ample time to review the videos and accusations hurled against her while being detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police.

After the submission of counter-affidavits, the prosecutors said the case is already up for resolution.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE LENI ROBREDO SEDITION
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