Alejano asks CA to stop DOJ sedition probe
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - September 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Former Magdalo party-list representative Gary Alejano and fellow Magdalo soldier Jonnell Sangalang have asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from continuing with its preliminary investigation of the sedition complaint filed against them and 34 others.

In a 31-page petition for prohibition, Alejano and Sangalang asked the CA to issue a temporary restraining order and thereafter a writ of preliminary injunction.

They said that on Sept. 5, they objected to the DOJ panel’s authority to conduct a preliminary investigation and filed a verified motion for reconsideration. The following day, the panel said it would it would incorporate the matters they raised in its resolution, according to the two ex-military men.

Last Tuesday, the panel said the complaint was submitted for resolution. Alejano and Sangalang had yet to submit their respective counter-affidavits. The panel was given 60 days to complete its preliminary hearing.

Alejano and Sangalang questioned before the court the power of DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra to constitute a panel of prosecutors to conduct the preliminary investigation; whether the panel has the power, jurisdiction and authority to conduct the preliminary investigation on the case and whether the Office of the Solicitor General may act as counsel for the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

Last July 18, the CIDG, based on the testimony of Peter Joemel Advincula, filed complaints of sedition/inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa and harboring a criminal/obstruction of justice against the 36 respondents.

In the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that were posted on the video-sharing site YouTube, Advincula alleged that President Duterte, members of his family and friends were involved in illegal drugs. The plan to oust Duterte was reportedly called “Project Sodoma.”

Advincula later alleged that among those involved in the supposed ouster plot were Alejano and Sangalang as well as Vice President Leni Robredo; Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas; Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David; Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco; emeritus Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr.; Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima and former senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Paolo Benigno Aquino.                

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