Sedition complaint a ‘waste of time’, ‘huge lie’ – bishop
MANILA, Philippines — Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David has called the sedition case against him and at least 30 others, including Vice President Leni Robredo and personalities mostly critical of the Duterte administration, a “waste of time” as the accusations were a “huge lie.”
David, in a statement on Tuesday, raised doubt on the basis of the sedition complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) since it was merely based on a testimony of an individual, who was not even its witness.
“Yun kasi ang hindi namin maintindihan dahil ang complainant ay PNP-CIDG pero ang batayan ng complaint nila ay testimonya ng isang respondent na hindi naman state witness,” David said in a statement posted on Veritas 846 website, referring to Joemel Advincula, who emerged in May and introduced himself as narrator “Bikoy” in the series of “Ang Tootong Narcolist” videos.
The controversial videos tagged family members and allies of President Rodrigo Duterte as being involved in the illegal drug trade.
David expressed regret that many people could not afford legal assistance while prisoners rot in jail despite their cases not reaching a single hearing in court, but that government seemed to have all the time to go after its critics.
“Sana naman pagdating ng September 6, which is going to be the next hearing sa Department of Justice, ay talagang mabigyan nila ng resolution para naman huwag magsayang tayo ng panahon sa mga bagay na walang katuturan,” pointed out David, subsequently said.
Aside from David and Robredo, other named respondents in the sedition complaint were Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros; former senators Bam Aquino and Antonio Trillanes; as well as members of Otso Diretcho senatorial slate namely human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, election lawyers Romulo Macalintal, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, Malawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, and former lawmakers Erin Tañada and Gary Alejano.
Other members of the Catholic Church who were likewise charged of sedition, including former Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas, running priest Fr. Robert Reyes, Fathers Flaviano Villanueva and Albert E. Alejo, and Bishops Honesto Ongtioco and Teodoro Bacani Jr.
Additionally, incumbent national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Domingo Egon Cayosa, former IBP president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, human rights lawyer Atty. Theodore Te, Yolanda Villanueva Ong, former education secretary Armin A. Luistro, Boom Enriquez, Vicente Romano III, Danilo Songco, Joel Saracho, former police officer Eduardo Acierto, a certain Atty. Chito, Atty. Serafin Salvador, and Carmelita Salvador were named as respondents in the sedition complaint. /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.