GOVERNMENT prosecutors have set Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo’s preliminary investigation for sedition for Aug. 9, according to Justice Undersecretary Mark L. Perete.

The agency has summoned Ms. Robredo and 35 others to the probe, Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said.

Police have charged Ms. Robredo and other prominent lawyers and Catholic Church leaders with inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice . They have been accused of seeking the ouster of President Rodrigo R. Duterte through a series of videos linking him and his family to illegal drugs.

Ms. Robredo’s supporters through an online petition with 16,000 signatures have asked the Justice department to dismiss the charges that they said are politically motivated.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called on authorities to drop the “preposterous complaint,” saying it is a transparent attempt to harass and silence the critics of the government’s bloody war on drugs.

Police said they have killed more than 6,600 people who “fought back” in the campaign while domestic human rights groups estimate the number of deaths at more than 27,000. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas