Calida says raps vs Robredo, opposition were highlights of CIDG-OSG cooperation
MANILA, Philippines – Cases against administration critics — including the sedition charge against Vice President Leni Robredo — were highlights of the cooperation between the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and his office, Solicitor General Jose Calida said.
But hours after his speech at the CIDG’s 67th founding anniversary celebration on Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel dismissed the cases against Robredo and opposition figures including senatorial candidates from the Otso Diretso slate.
“Truly, there is no crime more abhorrent than the betrayal of one’s country, aside from terrorism, sedition, inciting to sedition is committed and treason in the time of peace, more so when the traitor is an elected public official who before his or her assumption of office swore to defend and uphold the constitution,” Calida, who was CIDG’s guest of honor, said.
“Thus, in its valiant attempt to fulfill the sacred oath to serve and protect the people, the PNP-CIDG filed sedition cases against respondents Vice President Leni Robredo, Mr. (Antonio) Trillanes and other well-known personalities who are responsible for the creation and release of the video ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist’,” he added.
Calida went on to contradict claims of opposition members that the case was meant to silence dissent. However, DOJ said that the cases were dismissed for lack of evidence, although former senator Trillanes and other personalities were indicted.
“This ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist’ vilified the name of the duly-elected President, his family including his minor child, his close allies, and aides. This case has been painted by the respondents as an instrument to silence dissent, but this claim is no more than a fragile attempt to silence the truth,” he said.
Reporters tried to ask Calida to respond to rumors that the CIDG’s case has been dismissed, but he begged off to wait for official documents.
The Ang Totoong Narcolist series was uploaded on Facebook, and was voiced by a certain hooded figure identified as “Bikoy” In the videos, he claimed that Duterte’s relatives, close allies, and other business people were involved in the drug trade.
But after a while, a certain Peter Joemel Advincula surfaced claiming to be Bikoy. He revealed that it was a dirty trick operation under the orders of the opposition. He also said that opposition leaders were hatching a so-called Project Sodoma where Duterte would be ousted and be replaced by Robredo.
Opposition members have denied having a hand in the video, with Robredo presenting the evidence to refute Advincula’s claims that she was in a meeting in Ateneo de Manila.
The involvement of the CIDG with OSG’s filing of the sedition raps became controversial after an ABS-CBN report revealed that the draft documents of the case were created by OSG personnel.
Robredo’s camp questioned OSG’s involvement, even as Philippine National Police officials maintained that there was nothing wrong with it.
But aside from Robredo and opposition stalwarts, Calida also cited the charges against left-leaning leaders like Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago and Neri Colmenares as part of CIDG and OSG’s accomplishments.
“The collaboration between the PNP-CIDG, and your statutory counsel, the OSG yielded an overwhelmingly positive result. Aside from handling drug cases, the OSG was tapped to form the task force Kalasag […] first envisioned to help and assist in the apprehension and case build-up of cases involving terrorism and communist organizations,” Calida explained.
“This will expose them as actual violators of UN Conventions on Human Rights, thereby flipping the script, denying their claim that the state is the human rights violators. Right now, we have seven active cases filed in the DOJ, against several communist terrorist groups, front organization members in the likes of Cong. Sarah Elago, Neri Colmenares, and recruiters of these youth,” he added.
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