MANILA

Bishops deny any part in alleged ouster plot

ARCHBISHOP Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan and Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan both denied the allegations of Peter Joemel Advincula that they are part of an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a statement, Villegas said that in the evening of December 12, 2018, he was in the parish church of Orani in Bataan where he delivered a homily for the first mass of a newly ordained priest.

“As a mortal being like the rest of us, I have no capacity to be in two places at the same time,” he said in a statement.

For his part, David urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to focus on investigating the killings in line with the government’s crackdown on illegal drugs instead of listening to Advincula.

"As bishop of Caloocan, I sincerely wish the PNP could give more time and effort at investigating the truth behind these killings than giving credence to the lies now being peddled by a certain Peter Advincula, alias 'Bikoy',” he said.

"What I find most strange about the PNP's apparent seriousness in wanting to investigate the allegations of 'Bikoy' is that when it was people close to the president whom he was earlier implicating, they immediately called him a liar. Now that he has changed his story and is implicating practically all personalities in the opposition – insinuating that he had merely been used by them in a supposedly well-orchestrated plot to unseat the government – 'his truth' (according to the PNP director) needs to be investigated," he added.

Advincula, who claims that he is the man named "Bikoy" in the series of "Ang Totoong Narco-list" videos, said in his unofficial affidavit that he personally met Villegas in a meeting at around 6 p.m. of December 12, 2018 at the Jesuit Residence in the Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan, Quezon City.

Advincula tagged David and Villegas as among the personalities involved in the alleged Project Sodoma, along with Senator Antonio Trillanes and members of the Liberal Party, particularly the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates during the 2019 midterm elections.

The Project Sodoma, as claimed by Advincula, aimed to destroy the credibility of the administration’s bets in the said recently concluded elections.

Advincula also claimed that the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos were part of Project Sodoma. The videos linked Duterte’s son Paolo, son-in law Manases Carpio and former aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to the illegal drugs trade.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the persons identified by Advincula in his affidavit will be investigated and verified.

“Lahat ng sinabi nya as I have said hindi naman natin tinitake yan as the gospel truth. He has to substantiate his statements with evidence at kami naman kung may sinabi nya we have to evaluate and gather pieces of evidence. Kung talagang merong kaming makuha then we can file cases. Hindi naman base lang doon sa salita n’ya,” he said.

“Puwede naman silang ipatawag to shed light on the accusations being leveled against them,” he added.

Advincula had stood by the allegations made in the video clips when he first surfaced and called for a press conference at the office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Pasig City.

The PNP then questioned the credibility of Advincula, pointing out that he is an ex-convict who is facing charges “for fooling” people.

Advincula was convicted for syndicated estafa and is also facing charges of estafa.

In another press conference in Camp Crame, Advincula recanted his statements saying that he surfaced after Trillanes and the other people behind the Project Sodoma failed to pay him P500,000 as agreed. (SunStar Philippines)


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