Robredo asks DOJ to order PNP-CIDG to produce evidence in sedition raps

THE camp of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Thursday, August 8, asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to order the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to produce more evidence for the sedition complaint filed against her before she files her counter-affidavit.

A motion asking for production and copying of evidence was filed before the DOJ by Robredo’s lawyer Marlon Ramos and spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.

“It is a fundamental Constitutional right that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of the law,” the motion read.

Robredo and 35 others are facing sedition, inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice complaints before the justice department.

The PNP based their allegations on the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed claimed to be the “Bikoy” in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” viral videos that linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to illegal drugs.

However, Advincula retracted his statements and alleged that members of the opposition were behind the videos as part of Project Sodoma to discredit and destabilize the Duterte administration.

In Robredo’s motion, her lawyers pointed out that the allegation is “not only bare, unsubstantiated and false, but can hardly constitute basis to consider charging her with the crimes of sedition, inciting to sedition and cyberlibel.”

Robredo’s camp also noted that the PNP “deliberately” kept pieces of evidence from the vice president, in violation of her right to examine evidence and her right to due process.

“It is glaring from the Sinumpaang Salaysay of respondent Advincula, however, that aside from a bare and unsubstantial allegation of the purported presence of respondent in an alleged meeting on March 4, 2019 (which is false), and a profile picture of respondent, there is neither allegation nor proof of respondent’s participation in the alleged crimes charged,” the motion stressed.

“Assuming that such alleged ‘evidence’ exists, respondent moves that the Honorable Office direct complainant to produce such alleged evidence and allow respondent to make copies or copy the same. This would allow respondent to adequately and intelligently respond to the baseless and wild accusations against her in the present case,” it further said.

Taking caution

According to Gutierrez, Robredo’s camp is being cautious in handling the sedition complaint, citing complaints filed against Sen. Leila de Lima and ousted Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno that led to detention and ouster, respectively.

“It’s better to be careful. That’s why at this point we want everyone to play fair. Show your evidence,” he told reporters.

Gutierrez also pointed out that Robredo’s camp don’t even have a copy of the original affidavit filed by Advincula.

“How can you properly answer the allegations, how can you have a proper assessment of the case if, in the end, you don’t know the entire story?” he said.

“Show us your entire evidence. Respect the right of the right respondents in a criminal investigation. Follow your own procedures so that we won’t be surprised at the outcome nobody saw coming,” Gutierrez added. 

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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