MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo has refuted the “outright lie” that became the basis of the sedition complaint filed against her by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).
VP Leni filed her counter-affidavit at the Department of Justice in Manila on Thursday (August 29), personally appearing to sign it under oath before Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas. She was accompanied by her lead counsel for the case, Atty. Marlon Manuel.
In the 11-page document, VP Leni maintained that she did not take part in an alleged destabilization plot against the administration, through a meeting held at the Ateneo de Manila University on the afternoon of March 4, 2019. She said the allegation, made by Peter Joemel Advincula, alias Bikoy, was “impossible” and “an outright lie,” as she was in Bulacan that day for several engagements, all of which were well-documented in photos, news reports, and other documentary and testimonial evidence, which were submitted along with the counter affidavit.
She further 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, she 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,” her 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.
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