The lawyers for Vice President Leni Robredo are calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to require the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to present the “other evidence” it claims to have in connection with the sedition complaint it filed against opposition figures and other personalities critical of the administration.
VP Leni, represented by her lead counsel, Atty. Marlon Manuel, filed on Thursday morning (August 8) a Motion for Production and Copying of Evidence before the DOJ—ahead of the first preliminary investigation hearing on the complaint.
In the motion, Robredo’s counsel underscored that she is “deprived of the right to adequately respond to the wild accusations against her,” given that the CIDG “deliberately withheld alleged evidence other than the Sinumpaang Salaysay” of Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claims to be Bikoy, the narrator of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series.
Here, they noted that the CIDG—as well as other key officials involved in the filing—have repeatedly claimed to have “other evidence to support the bare allegations” of Advincula. This supposed “evidence” however, was not included in the complaint, which only indicated that such were “to be presented later.”
“It is glaring from the Sinumpaang Salaysay of respondent Advincula that aside from a bare and unsubstantiated 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 stated.
“Assuming that such alleged ‘evidence’ exists, respondent moves that the Honorable Office direct complainants 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 added.
Accompanying Atty. Manuel at the filing was OVP spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez, who pressed the DOJ to fulfill its promise of a fair investigation, amid such wild accusations.
“Kailangan nilang ipakita iyong buong ebidensyang sinasabi nila. Kasi sa mga kuwento nila, kapag pinakinggan mo si PNP Chief Albayalde, kapag pinakinggan mo si Mr. Gadon na abogado ni Peter Advincula, sinasabi nila marami silang hawak na ebidensya. Ngayon, as the respondents in a particular case, may karapatan kaming makita iyong buong kuwentong iyon,” he said.
“Ano ba iyong totoong kuwentong talagang ginagawa nilang batayan para dito sa reklamong ito? Nasaan na iyong ebidensyang pinagmamalaki nilang hawak nila? Kailangan naming makita iyon. They should play fair,” he added.
VP Leni’s lead counsel likewise confirmed that they will be present at the first hearing set by the DOJ on Friday, August 9.