“Ito ang totoong kwentong barbero,” (paumanhin sa mga barbero).
This was the statement issued on Friday by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros as she filed her counter-affidavit to the inciting to sedition complaint of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) before the Department of Justice (DOJ). The complaint stemmed from the accusations of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy who claimed that Hontiveros and several others conspired to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Hontiveros said that the DOJ should focus its attention on more pressing matters such as the accusations of corruption in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and reports of good conduct time allowance (GCTA) being sold to unqualified inmates.
“Ang mga akusasyong ito ang tunay na kwentong barbero. Walang batayan. Walang ebidensiya. Walang katotohanan. Sinasayang lang natin ang pera ng taumbayan sa kasong ito. Nakikiusap ako sa DOJ na tuunan na lamang ng kanyang atensyon ang talamak na katiwalian sa Bureau of Customs at ang pagbebenta ng GCTA. Yan ang totoong horror story,” Hontiveros said.
In a Senate hearing on Monday, Hontiveros said that unqualified inmates were able to shorten their jail terms and buy their freedom by conniving with corrupt BuCor personnel who manipulate the computations of their GCTA as provided by RA 10952.
This was confirmed on Thursday by Senate President Vicente Sotto III who disclosed that he received “A1 information” from “insiders” that certain individuals had been facilitating the release of inmates ahead of the completion of their jail terms.
“I appeal to the conscience of the DOJ not to entertain wild conspiracy theories against the opposition. It is an unnecessary distraction from our collective effort to amend the implementing rules and regulations of the GCTA and address the accusation of corruption in the BuCor, which is an agency under the DOJ,” Hontiveros said.
It was reported that Hontiveros’s affidavit denied the charges of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyber libel, estafa and obstruction of justice filed against the Senator. It said that there is no probable cause to support an indictment. It also said that due process has been denied as the charges were “vague, indefinite and imprecise.” It called on the DOJ to dismiss the complaint.
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