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Guevarra forms panel to probe raps vs. Robredo, opposition over ‘Bikoy’ videos

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POLITIKO - The bible of Philippine Politics

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has formed on Friday (July 19) a panel of prosecutors who will conduct the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaints filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and 34 of her co-respondents over the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos.

In Department Order No. 366, Guevarra declared that “a Special Panel of Prosecutors is hereby created and constituted to conduct and handle the preliminary investigation.”

The panel is composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas and Assistant State Prosecutors Michael John Humarang and Gino Paolo Santiago.

In its complaint, the PNP-CIDG accused at 35 respondents of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice.

Aside from Robredo, the complaint included as respondents former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV; incumbent Senators Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros and Leila De Lima; and the Liberal Party’s Otso Diretso senatorial candidates Chel Diokno, Gary Alejano, Florin Hilbay, Romulo Macalintal, Bam Aquino, Lorenzo Tanada, and Samira Gutoc.

The other respondents also included Catholic Church officials and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

The videos features the hooded “Bikoy” who claimed that a number of personalities including the Duterte family members as being engaged in the illegal drugs trade.

DOJ spokesman Markk Perete earlier said the PNP-CIDG submitted, among others, to support its complaint the sworn statement of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy which “detailed his supposed meetings with the aforenamed personalities and how they planned what he referred to as ‘Project Sodoma’.”

“Project Sodoma allegedly sought to publicly discredit President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and destabilize his government by implicating him, his family and other government officials in drug syndicates,” said Perete.

“The Project, planned as early as August 2018, likewise sought to allegedly discredit candidates of Hugpong ng Pagbabago while at the same time propping up those from the opposition Otso Diretso,” he added.

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