Court orders arrest, forfeits bail of ‘Bikoy’ after no-show at arraignment
Robie de Guzman • July 21, 2021 • 238
MANILA, Philippines – A Manila court has ordered the arrest of Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula after he failed to appear at his scheduled arraignment and preliminary conference on Wednesday morning.
The arraignment was in connection with the perjury case filed by three lawyers from the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).
“In view of the failure of the accused to appear in today’s hearing despite notice and upon motions of both the private prosecutor and public prosecutor, let the cash bail posted by accused Peter Joemel Advincula be forfeited and confiscated in favor of the government,” Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 17 Judge Karla Funtillan-Abugan said in a one-page order dated July 21.
“Issue a warrant of arrest against him with bail set at double the amount of the previous bail posted by the accused,” she added.
Abugan rescheduled the arraignment and preliminary conference to August 26.
Advincula is facing perjury charges filed by FLAG members, lawyers Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III, and former Supreme Court Spokesperson Theodore Te.
The lawyers filed the complaint after Advincula tagged them to “Project Sodoma,” the supposed plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Bikoy” was the hooded figure in a series of viral videos dubbed as “Ang totoong narco-list,” which linked Duterte’s family to the narcotics trade in the country. He turned around after surrendering to authorities and accused Diokno, Tañada, and Te as among those who supposedly provided support for the plot.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said they are ready to arrest former Senator Antontio Trillanes IV and 10 others over conspiracy to commit sedition if they will not post bail.
“Unless they post bail, the accused will be arrested. But they are expected to post bail,” according to CIDG National Capital Region Chief PCol. Tom Ibay.
The Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138 has already released a warrant of arrest against Trillanes, Peter Joemel ‘Bikoy’ Advincula, and nine others.
Ibay said they are still waiting for the copy of the warrant before taking any action and in case they were not able to post bail.
The accused were charged due to the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video that aimed to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
Meanwhile, Trillanes said he will post bail next week when he returns to the Philippines. The former senator also said he is ready to face any complaints filed against him.
“I am out of the country as of the moment for a series of engagements. But I intend to post bail once I arrive in Manila late next week. I will face this case just as I have faced all the other harassment cases Duterte’s minions have filed against me,” he said in a statement.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday (August 28) denied allegations she met Peter Joemel Advincula, who accused the former of being behind the online videos linking the Duterte family to narcotics trade.
In her counter-affidavit in relation to inciting to sedition complaint filed against her by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), Robredo maintained she did not take part in an alleged destabilization plot against the Duterte administration, through a meeting supposedly held at the Ateneo de Manila University on March 4, 2019.
Robredo filed her counter-affidavit at the Department of Justice, personally appearing to sign it under oath before Justice Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas. She was accompanied by her lawyer, Marlon Manuel.
Along with her counter-affidavit, Robredo also provided photos, news reports and other documentation to prove that she was in Bulacan on March 4 for official engagements.
Advincula, who claimed to be the hooded figure ‘Bikoy’ in the online “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series, earlier said the videos were orchestrated by the opposition Liberal Party under the guidance of Senator Antonio Trillanes III.
He said he met with Robredo and other opposition members in March to discuss “Project Sodoma” – an alleged plot to oust Duterte.
He also accused Robredo and other opposition members of forcing him to speak lies about the Duterte family’s supposed links to the narcotics trade.
Robredo said the evidence she submitted to the DOJ will prove that Advincula’s allegations were “impossible” and an “outright lie”.
She also slammed the statement made by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), acting as counsel to the PNP-CIDG in an Omnibus Comment it filed earlier, which erroneously insisted that she “repeatedly met” with Advincula.
This, Robredo noted, “directly contradicts” the allegation the witness-respondent made in his Sinumpaang Salaysay.
OSG’s claims, she said, clearly “underscores that the purported charges are aimed at hounding and oppressing me simply because I am perceived as critical of the current administration.”
“The false and perjurious Sinumpaang Salaysay and the Letter-Complaint should be viewed with the highest degree of caution and suspicion not only because of the unreliable nature of the allegations as discussed above, but because of the very nature of the charges itself,” Robredo’s counter-affidavit read.
“It has been held that ‘[s]edition is the crime usually resorted to by tyrants as a pretext to silence or suppress those persons who have the firmness of character to oppose them and expose their abuses.’”
Atty. Manuel noted that there are no other allegations stated against the Vice President, and that the charges were based solely on Advincula’s Sinumpaang Salaysay.
“Isa lang iyong paragraph na nag-aakusa sa kaniya ng isang gawain na diumano ay isang krimen. May pitong krimen na isinama doon sa reklamo laban sa kaniya at iyon ang isinagot namin at pinatunayan namin na kasinungalingan—iyong nakalagay doon sa counter-affidavit na siya ay dumalo sa isang diumano ay pagpupulong sa Ateneo na ginawa noong March 4,” he told reporters after the filing.
“Wala nang ibang ebidensya. And as far as the Vice President is concerned, it’s just that one paragraph that accuses her of a direct action—and that is a complete falsehood,” he added.
Their camp expects that the application will be approved as soon as possible especially when the preliminary investigation for the inciting to sedition complaint is set to begin on Friday.
Advindula has filed the said case against Vice President Leni Robredo and other opposition members.
According to Gadon, Advincula’s life is in danger since he stood up against big and influential individuals.
“Marami siyang nare-receive na deaths threats. Alam kasi nila iyong cell number ni Peter and alam nila iyong emails so talagang nakaka-receive siya (He receieve a lot of death threats. They know Peter’s cell number and they also know his emails so he does receive threats),” he said.
Advincula already paid a fine for his cyberlibel case on July 31. His camp will also file a supplemental affidavit on August 9 to clarify the inconsistencies in the statement he filed at the DOJ and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
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