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DoJ panel formed to look into sedition charges vs. Robredo et. al.

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THE Department of Justice (DoJ) has formed a panel of prosecutors to look into a complaint against several prominent figures who are supposedly involved with a series of videos that linked President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his family to illegal drugs.

On Friday, Justice Undersecretary Markk L. Perete said that the DoJ has created a panel of special state prosecutors to look into the charges filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) against 35 people including senators, church leaders, lawyers, and Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo.

“Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra has formed a panel of three state prosecutors to conduct a preliminary investigation on the complaint filed by the PNP-CIDG in relation to the alleged Project Sodoma,” he said in a message to reporters.

In the DoJ’s Department Order 366 issued on July 19, Mr. Guevarra assigned Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia L. Torrevillas, Assistant State Prosecutor Michael John M. Humarang, and Assistant State Prosecutor Gino Paolo S. Santiago to handle the preliminary investigation.

“The Order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in force until further orders,” the Department Order said.

On Thursday, the PNP-CIDG filed a complaint that recommended charges of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice be filed against 35 people allegedly involved in the so-called Project Sodoma.

Peter Joemel Advincula, the self-confessed drug dealer who was featured in the videos, is among the 35 charged. He is also the witness in the case. — Gillian M. Cortez

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