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Archbishop Villegas denies ‘Bikoy’ claim he met with plotters vs gov’t

DAGUPAN CITY –– Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Thursday denied that he met last year with some plotters to overthrow the government as alleged by Peter Joemel Advincula, also known as “Bikoy.”

“On the day and time, December 12, 2018, in the evening, that I allegedly met with some plotters to overthrow the government, I was in the parish church of Orani (town) in Bataan (province) to deliver the homily at the first mass of a friend newly ordained priest,” said Villegas in a statement posted on Thursday at the official Twitter page of the Catholic-run Radio Veritas.

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“As a mortal being like the rest of us, I have no capacity to be in two places at the same time,” said Villegas, former president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Last Tuesday, Advincula claimed meeting with Villegas, a certain Father Robert, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, and former Education Secretary Armin Luistro in separate sessions at universities.

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Advincula reportedly claimed that the meetings centered on how to publicize a story that President Duterte’s allies and family were linked to illegal drugs, to unseat Duterte, and to ensure the defeat of administration-backed senatorial candidates in the recently concluded elections.

David had also vehemently denied ever meeting with Advincula.

Villegas said he “cannot and will never” lend a hand to use illegal or violent means for social change, saying such actions would weaken the country’s democratic foundations.

“This is contrary to my Christian conscience,” Villegas said.

He also said as a priest, his mission was to continue the love of Jesus Christ and to teach His truth always.

“I believe in the power of electing officials; that is why I have tried my very best, as a priest and as a Filipino, to morally guide the people entrusted to my pastoral care,” Villegas said. (Editor: Leti Boniol)

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TAGS: Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Bikoy, Dagupan City, Local news, plotters
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