DOJ assures fair probe on raps vs. VP Leni, et al.

By Benjamin Pulta

July 19, 2019, 4:24 pm

<p>Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra. (File photo)

MANILA -- Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra assured a fair and non-partisan investigation on the complaints filed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) against Vice President Leni Robredo and several opposition figures over the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos.

"I have said this before and I will say it again. The DOJ is not a weapon for oppression or persecution. We shall go only by the evidence presented before us and we don't care who gets indicted and who goes scot-free," Guevarra told newsmen Friday.

"But once probable cause is determined and a criminal case is filed in court, the DOJ will exert the full force of the law to secure a conviction," he added.

Guevarra reiterated that his agency will soon form a prosecution panel that would handle the criminal complaints filed by the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), represented by Police Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay, over the revelations made by Peter Joemel Advincula alias "Bikoy".

Charges of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal/obstruction of justice were filed against Robredo and 34 other individuals.

Aside from Robredo, also named in the CIDG complaint were former senator Antonio Trillanes IV; Jonnell P. Sangalang; Eduardo Acierto; senators Ana Theresia N. Hontiveros-Baraquel and Leila de Lima; former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Abdiel Fajardo; incumbent IBP president Egon Cayosa; former Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te; lawyers Minerva Ambrosio, Serafin Salvador, and Philip Sawali.

Also named were senatorial candidates Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, Paolo Benigno A. Aquino, lawyer Lorenzo "Erin" R. Tañada III, Gary Alejano, Florin Hilbay, Romulo Macalintal, and Jose Manuel Diokno.

Likewise charged were Yolando Villanueva Ong, Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, Fr. Albert E. Alejo, Fr. Robert Reyes, Bro. Armin A. Luistro, Cubao Diocese Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco, retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr., Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David, former Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas, publicist Boom Enriquez, Vicente R. Romano III, Danilo Songco, film actor and activist Joel Saracho.

A certain alias "Sentrix" and "John Doe", along with “Bikoy”, were also named for their part in the so-called Project Sodoma, which was allegedly hatched to discredit administration candidates and back opposition senatorial bets in the May 13 elections. (PNA)