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Merely political harassment, Robredo spox says of dismissed sedition raps

/ 03:33 PM February 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The dismissal of the sedition case against Vice President Leni Robredo was an affirmation that the claims she was part of an alleged plot to oust President Duterte were merely lies and that it was just a form of political harassment, her spokesperson said on Monday.

According to lawyer Barry Gutierrez, the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Panel proved that the accusations about Robredo’s involvement in the Ang Totoong Narcolist video series were just “fabricated.”

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“The resolution of the Department of Justice Special Panel of Prosecutors finding a ‘lack of evidence’ against Vice President Leni Robredo and recommending the dismissal of the criminal complaint against her and 25 other respondents is a definitive condemnation of the fabricated accusations and trumped-up charges brought against her,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

“(It) stands as vindication of what she has maintained from the start: that these ‘charges’ were never anything more than lies and political harassment,” he added.

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Robredo and members of the opposition senatorial slate Otso Diretso, which she openly supported, were accused of sedition for linking President Rodrigo Duterte to the drug trade.

The case was filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to the DOJ, but it was later on revealed that the Office of the Solicitor General had a hand in the complaint.

In the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos uploaded on Facebook, a hooded figure identified as “Bikoy” said that members of Duterte’s family, his close allies and even other businesspeople were major players in the country’s drug scene.

However, a certain Peter Joemel Advincula who claimed to be Bikoy, surfaced and pointed Robredo and the opposition as the people behind the so-called Project Sodoma, where senators and candidates plan to oust Duterte and install Robredo.

Robredo and the opposition have since denied having involvement in the production of the video series, saying that Advincula’s claims that she was in a meeting at Ateneo de Manila were fake because she was in a different place.

Gutierrez said that they hope the panel’s decision would end the accusations hurled against Robredo.

“We hope that this decisive conclusion by the panel, which it discusses thoroughly in its 51-page resolution, puts an end to this campaign of lies against the Vice President,” he said.

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“And while she has not once allowed this baseless persecution to distract her from fulfilling her mandate of serving the Filipino people, she can now continue her work without this added and unnecessary burden,” he added.

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TAGS: Ang Totoong Narcolist, Barry Gutierrez, Bikoy, Drug war, Office of the Vice President, Peter Joemel Advincula, Philippine news updates, Sedition, Vice President Leni Robredo
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