Albayalde denies Palace hand in criminal raps vs opposition
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde denied Friday that Malacañang had a hand in the filing of sedition and other criminal cases against members of the opposition for their alleged involvement in the narcolist videos.
“Palace has no hand in the filing of the case,” Albayalde told INQUIRER.net, echoing Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s statement that the Palace “absolutely” had nothing to do with the cases filed against Vice President Leni Rodredo and 35 other individuals.
Albayalde, likewise, said the PNP does not want to participate in the “political bickering” supposedly being waged by members of the opposition, who claimed the charges are mere political persecution and harassment.
“We don’t want to tread on their political bickering. The filing of the case against all the accused regardless of political affiliation is well within the mandate of the PNP of enforcing the law,” he said.
Aside from sedition, the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) also filed on Thursday before the Department of Justice complaints for inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice against the respondents.
Those also accused in the complaint are some former and incumbent opposition senators, members of the opposition slate “Otso Diretso” except Mar Roxas, several Catholic bishops and priests, and other personalities.
The complaint was based on the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed he was “Bikoy” or the hooded man in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series linking President Rodrigo Duterte and his family and allies in a drug syndicate.
To recall, Advincula, after throwing strong accusations against Duterte and his allies through the videos, recanted all his claims and said the Liberal Party led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV “orchestrated” the series. He made this withdrawal of allegations at a press conference hosted by the PNP at Camp Crame, with several high-ranking police officials standing behind him. /jpv
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