Press Release
August 9, 2019


Former Senator and staunch human rights defender Rene Saguisag has come forward to stand as the lead legal counsel of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros against allegations of inciting to sedition leveled by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), through the affidavit of Peter 'Bikoy' Advincula.

Saguisag and other members of Hontiveros's legal team filed a motion before the Department of Justice (DOJ) to inspect the original documents and other evidence attached to the complaint against Hontiveros. The PNP-CIDG also accused Vice-President Leni Robredo as well as other members of the opposition such as Senator Leila de Lima and former Senator Antonio Trillanes.

"I stand ready to face these charges and once again maintain that I am not plotting against this government. We are far too busy in the 18th Congress, and there are greater matters of national importance, such as the defense of our territory from Chinese encroachment, that demand our attention," Hontiveros said.

Saguisag called the accusations baseless. He said that the accusers must present their case in its entirety, without adding any additional details later on as this violates the principle of fair play and due process.

"Bago namin sagutin ang mga walang basehang paratang na ito, kumpletuhin muna ng mga nag-aakusa ang kanilang kaso. Ito na ba ang kabuuang kaso? May idadagdag pa ba silang ebidensiya? Mahirap sumagot tapos dadagdagan nila ng kung ano-ano. It violates the spirit of fair play and the right to due process," Saguisag said.

"As such, we move to suspend the proceedings until the complainant submits all the aforementioned documents and other pieces of evidence." Saguisag added.

Saguisag is an accomplished human rights lawyer, who served in the Senate from 1987 until 1992. He was the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

"We must always remember that accusation is not proof, and that criticism of one's government is not a crime. It is a vital part of any healthy and functioning democracy. We will face these allegations head-on. I stand by Senator Risa's innocence, and we are confident that the truth will prevail," Saguisag said.

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