Supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo and 37 others accused in the sedition complaint filed by the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) trooped in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Aug. 9 to call for the dropping of the case which they said is “politically motivated.”
The rallyists, coming from different groups — Tindig Pilipinas, Solid Leni, members of the Catholic church — braved the rain as the DOJ prosecution panel conducted the first preliminary investigation hearing on the case which also names former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of President Duterte.
Kalookan Bishop-Emeritus Deogracias Iñiguez was among the rallyists to give support to members of the Religious included in the case namely Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. of Novaliches, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Father Flaviano Villanueva, Father Albert Alejo and Father Robert Reyes. La Salle Bro. Armin Luistro, former education secretary, is also named in the sedition case.
After the preliminary hearing, Bonnie Tacardon, lawyer of Sen. Leila De Lima — who is also among the respondents — told reporters that the DOJ panel has suspended the case proceedings after they filed a motion requesting the PNP-CIDG to complete first their evidence against his client. The motion, according to Deo Culla, the lawyer of Father Flavie Villanueva covers other respondents. Hearing will resume on Sept. 6.
The sedition and other criminal charges are based on the July 18 affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy, who has made a number of flip-flops on his “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series.
The rallyists also hit the Duterte government for spreading fake news, making police brutality, and extrajudicial killings a standard practice and bowing to China in the West Philippine Sea dispute.