Palace: Nothing wrong when PNP ‘consulted’ OSG over Bikoy affidavit
MANILA, Philippines — There is nothing wrong with the move of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to seek the help of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on the draft affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula.
Advincula is the man who claimed to be the “Bikoy” in the controversial “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, which tagged family members of President Rodrigo Duterte in the illegal drugs trade.
“I talked with the SolGen earlier and he said that PNP sought its advice on the matter so the draft was sent to them for review, that was their only participation,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
“The PNP just consulted [the OSG],” he added.
An ABS-CBN News report claimed that OSG had a hand in drafting Advincula’s affidavit after examining the soft copy of the document released to the media by Lorenzo Gadon. Gadon is Advincula’s lawyer.
The PNP earlier filed sedition charges against Vice President Leni Robredo and other members of the opposition for the alleged narcolist videos.
The PNP said the charges were based on Advincula’s affidavit.
“You know, the SolGen is the lawyer of the Republic of the Philippines and all its clients are all offices and agencies of the government. Now, it is mandated under the law to counsel, to give lawyering activities to any of the offices when its office is consulted,” Panelo said.
“There’s nothing wrong with that because it’s the duty of the SolGen on a lawyer-client relationship,” he added.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, further said there was nothing wrong with the move of the PNP to file charges against Robredo and other opposition members.
“There was a complainant and he went to PNP and the PNP investigated the case, and it is also procedural for the PNP to submit the case either with the Department of Justice or the proper authority with respect to the complaint filed by any private complainant. So it’s still regular, procedurally correct,” he said.
Panelo earlier denied that Malacañang has a hand on the filing of sedition charges against Robredo and other individuals critical of the Duterte administration.
“When I said the Palace was not involved, it’s not really involved even now,” he reiterated to reporters on Wednesday.
Asked if the President was already aware of this development, the Palace official said: “Duterte makes the departments and the offices function (on) their own without any interference coming from him.”
“He only does it when there is a charge of corruption,” he said. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.