By Joenner Paulo L. Enriquez and Ma. Alena O. Castillo in Manila
Thomasian priests Fr Albert Alejo and Fr Flaviano Villanueva have posted P10,000 (NZ$310) bail each after a judge issued a warrant of arrest in connection with their sedition case.
“Nag-piyansa na kami Fr Flavie at sumama [na] rin si Fr Robert [Reyes] at mga abogado namin. Napirmahan [na] kahapon ang warrant of arrest,” Fr Alejo told The Varsitarian.
The pre-trial conference and arraignment of the case were set fo March 17, according to a court order that granted their temporary liberty.
READ MORE: Philippines court orders arrest of Trillanes, 10 others on sedition charge
The case stems from allegations by ex-convict Peter Advincula who tagged the priests, four bishops and political figures in an alleged “destablisation plot” against the Duterte administration involving the Ang Totoong Narcolist (The True Narcolist) video series, which linked the president and his family to the illegal drug trade.
The Department of Justice, however, dismissed the charges against Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr., Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, and 22 other individuals on February 10.
The Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 138 on Thursday also ordered the arrest of former senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Peter Advincula, or “Bikoy,” and nine other individuals accused of plotting to destabilise the government.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas on Thursday said the 11 individuals were charged with “conspiracy” to commit sedition, not “inciting” to sedition, since there was no clear act to cause an uprising.
Fr Alejo obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He was also a Varsitarian Filipino writer.
Joenner Paulo L. Enriquez and Ma. Alena O. Castillo are reporters for the student newspaper The Varsitarian. Republished under a Creative Commons licence.