GOVERNMENT prosecutors are about to finish hearing the sedition complaint against Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo and 35 others and will soon submit the case for decision.

Prosecutors on Friday said they have set a deadline for Sept. 11 for all counter-affidavits, after which the case will be submitted for resolution.

Police in July filed inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice against the officials accused of circulating a video linking President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade.

Meanwhile, two former opposition senatorial candidates and an ex-spokesman of the Supreme Court filed a countersuit against Peter Joemel Advincula, the self-confessed drug dealer who appeared in the videos.

Lawyers Jose Manuel I. Diokno, Lorenzo R. Tañada III and Theodore O. Te said the sedition allegations against them were “deliberate fabrications.”

Human Rights Watch has called on authorities to drop the “preposterous complaint,” calling it an attempt to harass and silence critics of the government’s bloody war on drugs.

A conviction for incitement to sedition carries a maximum penalty of six years in jail. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas