UP Law faculty calls for dismissal of sedition raps vs. professors, lawyers linked to 'Bikoy' videos

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 28)— Faculty members of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law called for the dismissal of charges against its professors and other lawyers linked to the sedition complaint of Peter Joemel Advincula alias “Bikoy”.

In a statement Monday, the group of professors urged Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to junk the “baseless” charges filed against professor and former Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te, professor Serafin Salvador Jr., former professor and former solicitor general Florin Hilbay, and other lawyers from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Free Legal Assistance Group for their supposed involvement in the “Ang Totoong Narco List” series.

“The charges are nothing but pure harassment, intimidation and undue interference in their professional function,” the group said in its statement, adding that Advincula’s credibility is “in serious doubt.”

“This disturbing incident does not augur well for democracy. It is meant to silence legitimate criticism and dissent of lawyers and other members of the opposition,” it added.

The Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in July filed a complaint against key opposition and church figures for their alleged involvement in the production and spread of the viral online videos, which revealed President Rodrigo Duterte’s family’s supposed drug links.

They were also accused of cyber libel, libel, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice.

Malacañang has earlier denied any hand in the case. The Justice Department formed a three-man panel of prosecutors to handle its preliminary investigation.

READ: Sedition complaint vs. Robredo, 30 others up for resolution