Hontiveros: Sedition raps vs opposition merely ‘kwentong barbero’
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros has labeled the sedition raps against her and fellow critics of the administration as merely ‘kwentong barbero’ or made-up stories, urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to focus instead on corruption issues at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Hontiveros said this on Friday after filing her counter affidavit to the complaints which were based on the testimonies of Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claims to be the hooded figure Bikoy in the Ang Totoong Narcolist video series.
“Ito ang totoong kwentong barbero,” she said, before apologizing to male hairdressers or barbers. “Walang batayan. Walang ebidensiya. Walang katotohanan. Sinasayang lang natin ang pera ng taumbayan sa kasong ito.”
“Nakikiusap ako sa DOJ na tuunan na lamang ng kanyang atensyon ang talamak na katiwalian sa Bureau of Customs at ang pagbebenta ng GCTA. ‘Yan ang totoong horror story,” she added.
The alleged abuse of GCTA, or the good conduct time allowance, was revealed after former BuCor chief Nicanor Faeldon announced that former Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez may be freed along with 10,000 other inmates.
Sanchez was convicted of raping University of the Philippines (UP) student Eileen Sarmenta and masterminding her slay, along with fellow student Allan Gomez. The release order banked on Republic Act 10592, which counts the GCTA against an accused’s prison time.
However, even before Sanchez’ release order was made public, BuCor officials admitted that over 22,000 prisoners have been released under GCTA — 1,700 of which have been convicted to heinous crimes like rape, murder, and drug-related charges.
Faeldon was recently fired by President Rodrigo Duterte for allegedly not following his orders.
Meanwhile, the sedition complaints against Hontiveros and other prominent opposition members, like Vice President Leni Robredo and Otso Diretso candidates, were filed for allegedly trying to topple the government by tarnishing the reputation of Duterte and his administration.
In the Ang Totoong Narcolist, Advincula claims he was ordered by the opposition to impute Duterte’s relatives and close allies as involved in the drug trade. This was supposedly part of a plan called Project Sodoma.
“I appeal to the conscience of the DOJ not to entertain wild conspiracy theories against the opposition,” Hontiveros said.
“It is an unnecessary distraction from our collective effort to amend the implementing rules and regulations of the GCTA and address the accusation of corruption in the BuCor, which is an agency under the DOJ,” she added. /je
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