(Eagle News)–Three Catholic bishops who have been charged with sedition and others in connection with the Ang Totoong Narco-list videos have asked the Department of Justice to junk the same.
This is based on the counter-affidavits separately filed by Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr., Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David before the Department of Justice special panel of prosecutors that is conducting a preliminary probe into the charges.
The panel kicked off the probe on Friday, Aug. 9.
Although Villegas and David admitted to having talked to Peter Joemel Advincula, whose affidavit became the basis for the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to file the charges, they denied they had anything to do with Project Sodoma aimed at toppling the administration.
Villegas said Advincula introduced himself to him in a Jesuit residence in Ateneo on April 24 and narrated what he then said were the hardships he was facing.
Villegas said he only gave Advincula his rosary because he was touched by his story.
As for David, he said he was able to talk to Advincula because he was brought in by Catholic priest Albert Alejo on Feb. 9.
David said Advincula told him his life was in danger and he needed a place to stay to be protected from the drug syndicate he was supposed to be a member of before.
David said he merely said other people could help Advincula, and that the account of Advincula should be verified first.
Bacani, for his part, denied talking to Advincula about any plan to destabilize the administration.
He said he is part of the group that formed the 1987 Constitution, which means he has no plans of being part of a destabilization plot.
The three Catholic church officials also denied being members of the so-called Shadow Group of Project Sodoma.
The DOJ panel of prosecutors has set the next hearing to, tentatively, and the deadline for the submission of the counter-affidavits of other respondents to Sept. 6, at 9 a.m. Moira Encina