DOJ junks sedition raps vs Robredo, Hontiveros, De Lima, 'Otso Diretso' bets

DOJ junks sedition raps vs Robredo, Hontiveros, De Lima, 'Otso Diretso' bets
Vice President Leni Robredo faced the members of the press, May 23, 2019 noon, to address the allegations of Peter Joemel Advincula.
The STAR / Felicer Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice dropped the police’s sedition complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo, Sens. Risa Hontiveros and Leila De Lima, and other “Otso Diretso” senatorial bets due to lack of probable cause.

On Monday, DOJ said that state prosecutors charged former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Peter Joemel Advincula and nine others on a Conspiracy to Commit Sedition over the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video blogs.

Only 11 of the more than 30 respondents were brought to court for supposedly conspiring to discredit and eventually oust President Rodrigo Duterte by releasing a series of anonymously posted videos alleging the president, his family and allies had links to the illegal drug trade.

The DOJ did not find probable cause to indict Robredo, Hontiveros and De Lima on inciting to sedition, sedition, libel, estafa and obstruction of justice.

Others who were cleared are Otso Diretso candidates: Former Sen. Bam Aquino, lawyers Florin Hilbay, Chel Diokno, Romulo Macalintal and Erin Tañada, and Samira Gutoc and Gary Alejano.

Also named as respondents but were cleared were Caloocan Archbishop Pablo Virgilio David and Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas.

DOJ has yet to release the full resolution on the case, but Undersecretary Markk Perete said: “The complaint by the PNP CIDG against all respondents [except the 11charged] were dismissed for lack of probable cause.”

The charge stemmed from a complaint filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group that named more than 30 personalities from the opposition, ranging from politicians to members of the clergy, as respondents.

Robredo: Resolution proves the accusations were lies

Robredo in a tweet said that the resolution "just proves what I have been saying from the start: that this case is based on a bald-faced lie and is politically-motivated."

She added in Filipino: “Now that the DOJ has clearly said there is no evidence against me, I am hopeful that this is the end of this whole mess."

Advincula, who twice claimed, in vastly different circumstances, to be the hooded man in the video, said Robredo was supposedly in Ateneo de Manila University on March 4 when a meeting on Duterte’s ouster was held.

Robredo said he never met Advincula except when she saw him at a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

In her counter-affidavit, Robredo also said she was attending official events in Bulacan when the supposed meeting at Ateneo happened. — Kristine Joy Patag

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