Speaking the truth is not sedition – Belmonte
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Minority Leader and Quezon City 6th District Rep. Kit Belmonte on Tuesday reminded his colleagues that speaking the truth is not tantamount to inciting to sedition.
This developed as the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) filed sedition and other criminal cases against Vice President Leni Robredo, Catholic Church bishops and priests, and other individuals critical of the Duterte administration.
“Last I checked, ang katotohanan ay katotohanan pa rin, at hindi inciting to sedition,” Belmonte, who is also Liberal Party (LP) Secretary General, said in his privilege speech during the chamber’s plenary session.
“Last I checked, hindi bawal magsalita. Last I checked, kasama sa tungkulin ng bawat mamamayan – lalo na tayong mga naglilingkod bilang kinatawan dito sa Kongreso – na igiit ang tingin nilang tama; na makapag-debate sa isa’t-isa o sa gobyerno, para maging mas makabuluhan ang mga desisyon ng ating pamahalaan,” he added.
The PNP-CIDG has filed sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice cases against Robredo, opposition senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, and former senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Bam Aquino in connection with the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” (The Real Narcolist) videos.
Members of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate – except Mar Roxas, and members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines were also named as respondents in the complaints.
It was Peter Joemel Advincula who tagged President Rodrigo Duterte’s family members and allies in the illegal drug trade as he emerged and introduced himself as the “Bikoy” in the so-called narco videos. But appearing with ranking PNP officials on May 23, Advincula suddenly changed his tune and accused the opposition of conspiring to overthrow Duterte. Robredo and other opposition members have already denied Advincula’s claims.
Belmonte said Advincula’s accusations against Robredo were “fictitious” and were initiated by people who would like to destabilize the country.
“This was initiated by a few misguided sycophants who would rather destabilize the Republic and push their own personal agendas, rather than work to uplift the lives of the Filipino people,” he pointed out.
Belmonte also challenged his fellow lawmakers in the House to put the needs of the people ahead of politics.
“Our goal is not to follow this or that marching order because there are no marching orders higher than that of the Filipino people’s,” said the third-term congressman. /kga
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