VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor G. Robredo yesterday denied the sedition charge against her, saying she wasn’t part of an alleged plot to destabilize the government of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
In a counter-affidavit, the vice-president denied meeting Peter Joemel Advincula, the self-confessed drug dealer who linked the Duterte family to the illegal drug trade, to discuss a strategy to unseat the president.
“I have never met Mr. Advincula. The first time I saw Mr. Advincula was in the news coverage of the press conference held at the office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines,” she said in her filing.
Ms. Robredo also said there were no other allegations against her aside from her presence at the March 4 meeting.
Police last month filed a complaint for inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice against Ms. Robredo and several others including opposition senators, lawyers and church leaders. Mr. Advincula, was also sued but was named a police witness.
Mr. Advincula in May had sought legal assistance in filing charges against members of the drug syndicate he formerly belonged to. Later that month, he surrendered to police over estafa charges, and tagged the Liberal Party as behind the propaganda.
Human Rights Watch has said authorities should drop the “preposterous complaint,” saying it was a “transparent attempt to harass and silence critics” of Mr. Duterte’s bloody drug war. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas