MANILA – Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula, the hooded figure in the viral anti-Duterte “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos, has dismissed as “premature” and “baseless” the perjury and false testimony raps filed against him by 3 lawyers tagged in the sedition complaint.
Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) lawyers Chel Diokno, Erin Tañada and Theodore Te had filed the criminal complaint against Advincula accusing him of “willful and deliberate” lies in implicating them in the alleged plot to oust the President.
Advincula claimed he met with Vice President Leni Robredo, Diokno, Tañada and other Otso Diretso senatorial candidates on March 4 at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City to discuss how to prop up their chances of winning in the May 2019 elections.
Most of the Otso Diretso candidates have denied meeting Advincula while Robredo and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said they were nowhere near Ateneo on that day.
Advincula also claimed he met with Te and another lawyer on May 2, days after the videos were circulated online, to supposedly discuss the “finalization” of his “exposure,” referring to the press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office in Ortigas a few days later.
While the former Supreme Court spokesperson admitted meeting Advincula, he said the meeting was on a different date and was only meant to assess whether FLAG could handle his case. FLAG eventually declined and referred him to the IBP.
The 3 FLAG lawyers accused Advincula of violating articles 183 and 184 of the Revised Penal Code.
Art. 183 on perjury punishes the willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood upon a material matter in statements sworn to before an officer authorized to administer an oath in an affidavit required by law.
Art. 184 on the other hand punishes offering of false testimony in an official proceeding.
ABS-CBN News had earlier reported inconsistencies in Advincula’s separate affidavits submitted to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Insisting that all the details he said in his affidavit are true and supported by evidence, Advincula said it is still “premature” to say he lied as only the court can determine the truthfulness of his statements.
“[W]hether the undersigned’s statements in the aforesaid Affidavit-Complaint were all assertions of falsehood, and was done with deliberate intent to lie, is a matter of defense which the herein complainants should disprove by presenting their evidence to the contrary before the Special Panel of Prosecutors,” he said in his counter-affidavit filed with DOJ Tuesday.
Instead, he accused his accusers of diverting the issue.
“[T]he present complaint is a vain attempt to misled (sic), or confused (sic) the authorities in the investigation of the case referred to the DOJ by the CIDG-PNP, and that to charge the undersigned with violation of Articles 183 and 183 (sic) is clearly a nuisance or harassment suit,” he alleged.
Aside from Advincula, PNP-CIDG National Capital Region (NCR) OIC Police Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay also filed his counter-affidavit.
It was the PNP-CIDG who filed the sedition complaint before the DOJ with Advincula as one of the respondents.
The sedition complaint is currently pending before a panel of DOJ prosecutors who is set to release the resolution either this week or next week to beat the 60-day deadline.
Aside from filing the perjury and false testimony raps against Advincula, the 3 FLAG lawyers have also filed a petition with the Court of Appeals seeking to stop the DOJ probe, echoing the arguments of former Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano that Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has no authority to form the special panel of prosecutors probing the sedition complaint since it is the job of the National Prosecution Service.
They also questioned the participation of the Office of the Solicitor General in the DOJ probe.