Alejano asks CA to stop DOJ sedition probe
MANILA, Philippines–Former Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano and fellow Magdalo member Jonell Sangalang have asked the Court of Appeals to stop the preliminary probe being done by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the sedition complaint lodged against them, Vice President Leni Robredo and other key opposition figures.
In a 31-page petition for prohibition, Alejano and Sangalang said the DOJ panel has no authority to conduct the preliminary investigation.
The same petition also questioned the authority of the Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) for appearing as counsel for the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) which is the complainant in the case.
Petitioner said both the DOJ and OSG violated the Prosecution Service Act, Administrative Code and Presidential Decree 478 or the law that defines the powers of the OSG.
“The appeal emphasized that it is clear under the Prosecution Service Act that the Secretary of Justice has no power to act directly on a complaint which does not involve any crime against national security,” Alejano said in a statement.
On the other hand, petitioners said under P.D. 478 and the Administrative Code, the OSG is supposed to be the appellate counsel of the government in criminal cases. The authority of the OSG to represent government in criminal proceedings is limited only to proceedings before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
“It’s obvious that this administration is using these two agencies for political persecution, to bully its critics, in deliberate deviance of the Prosecution Service Act, P.D. 478 and the Administrative Code. It is our position that the Court should intervene to stop this continuing and deliberate disregard of the law,” Alejano added.
Both Alejano and Sangalang opted to instead go to the Court of Appeals instead of filing their counter-affidavits on the sedition case. The DOJ has wrapped up the preliminary investigation on the case the same day the petition was filed.
The sedition complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG was based on the affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula, who claims to be “Bikoy,” the hooded narrator in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series. /muf
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