Manila Court Issues Warrants to Arrest Two Priests

02/16/2020 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – A court in Manila has issued warrants on Feb. 14 for the arrest of two Catholic priests, a former senator and eight others for conspiracy to commit sedition.

The warrants for Jesuit priest Albert Alejo and Father Flaviano Villanueva, a member of the Society of Divine Word, were issued by Judge Kristine Grace Suarez to the 11 charged in the case over the Bikoy “Ang Totoong Narcolist (The True Narcolist)” videos.

These 11 allegedly accused President Rodrigo Duterte of associating with known Chinese drug traffickers in a series of videos.

According to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas, the accused “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously came to an agreement and decided to rise publicly and tumultuously, and to employ force, intimidation and other means outside of legal methods” against the president.

The allegations said the accused circulated “malicious and scurrilous libels and fabricating evidence against Duterte and his immediate family members, making it appear that the president and his family are engaged in a drug trade syndicate.”

UCA News reports that Father Alejo, the founder of an anti-corruption campaign called Ehem!, and Father Villanueva, who manages the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center that provides food and hygiene care for the poor in Manila, denied the accusations.

Fr. Villanueva and Fr. Alejo later posted bail for conspiracy to commit sedition at 10,000 pesos each (about US$200). The warrants against them have been recalled.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org.

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