A QUEZON City court has junked a case of conspiracy to commit sedition against former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula and several others in relation to an alleged plot to unseat former President Rodrigo Duterte.
Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138 dismissed the case as it approved the demurrer to evidence filed separately by Trillanes, Advincula, Jonnel Sangalang, Yolanda Villanueva Ong, Fr. Flaviano Villanueva, Fr. Albert Elejo, Vicente Romano III, and Ronnil Carlo Enriquez.
It said the prosecution failed to present competent or sufficient evidence to sustain the indictment or support a verdict of guilt against the accused.
"Succinctly, the prosecution failed to prove the commission of the crime of conspiracy to commit sedition as alleged in the information and the precise degree of participation therein by all accused," the resolution stated.
"Basic is the rule in evidence that a witness can testify only on the facts that he knows from his own personal knowledge or those that are derived from his perception…A witness may not testify on what he merely learned, read, or heard from others because such testimony is considered hearsay and may not be received as proof of the truth of what he has learned, read, or heard," it added.
It was also noted that Advincula was not presented during the trial, which is vital to support his sworn statements on his claims.
Advincula was the person in a series of viral videos entitled “Ang Totoong Narco-list” released in 2019 where he linked Duterte, as well as the members of his family to the illegal drugs trade.
As he surrendered, Advincula tagged several personalities under the Liberal Party to be behind “Project Sodoma,” which includes the series of videos that aims to oust Duterte and put then Vice President Leni Robredo in power.
In May, a Manila court found Advincula guilty of perjury, a case filed against him by Free Legal Assistance Group (Flag) lawyers Chel Diokno, Erin Tañada and Theodore Te.
Advincula tagged the three lawyers as the brains behind Project Sodoma. He later retracted his claims. (SunStar Philippines)