Walang basehan! Diokno asks DOJ: Junk raps over ‘Bikoy’ videos
Losing senatorial candidate Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno and other fellow members of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) has asked Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to dismiss the criminal complaints filed against them concerning the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos.
The FLAG made the call after the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) last July 18 the criminal complaint against 35 persons including.
“FLAG calls upon the Secretary of Justice to immediately throw out the CIDG complaint,” read the FLAG statement signed by its chairman Diokno and secretary general Maria Socorro Diokno.
In its complaint, the PNP-CIDG accused the 35 respondents of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring of a criminal and obstruction of justice.
Among the FLAG members named as respondents in the complaint are Diokno and former Supreme Court (SC) spokesman Theodore Te.
The complaint alleged that the 35 respondents have a hand in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” which accused a number of personalities including members of the Duterte family as being involved in the narcotics trade.
The CIDG used as its witness Peter Joemel Advicula who is Bikoy in the videos and has claimed that members of the Liberal Party including Diokno were behind these.
“The Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) strongly condemns the filing of criminal charges against its officers and members based on the statements of Peter Joemel Advincula, a witness with absolutely no credibility,” the FLAG stated.
“The charges are not only baseless, they are meant to silence and persecute human rights lawyers, opposition leaders, and the Church, and to send a message to anyone who dares to criticize this administration,” it added.
The FLAG reminded the government of its obligation to “ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference’ and that lawyers ‘shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethic.”
“The charges filed by the CIDG are designed to intimidate, harass and interfere with out lawyers, who are just doing their jobs as human rights defenders,” the group pointed out.