Bishops deny any part in alleged oust Duterte plot

Bishops deny any part in alleged oust Duterte  plot

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan and Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan deny any part in alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

By Roy Lagarde

June 6, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Two Church leaders have denied any involvement in an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan said the allegation was “contrary” to his Christian conscience.

“I cannot and will never lend a hand to use illegal or violent means for social change,” Villegas said.

Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy”, has earlier tagged Villegas and Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan as among the personalities plotting to oust Duterte.

Advincula made the claim few days after he backtracked on his previous allegations linking Duterte and his family to illegal drug trade.

He alleged that Villegas even met with some plotters to overthrow the government at the Jesuit residence in Quezon City on Dec. 21, 2018.

The archbishop, however, said that he was in parish church of Orani in Bataan to deliver the homily at the first Mass of a newly ordained priest.

“As a mortal being like the rest of us, I have no capacity to be in two places at the same time,” he said.

Advincula also claimed that on Feb. 9, 2019, Bishop David met with Senator Antonio Trillanes, whom he tagged as behind the controversial “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series.

“I wish to make it clear that I have never had the privilege of meeting with Senator Trillanes in person,” said Bishop David.

Advincula is currently under the protective custody of the Philippine National Police.

Bishop David, on the other hand, called for consistency on the part of the PNP in terms of finding the truth in both the claims of Advincula as well as in the extrajudicial killings still prevalent in the Kalookan diocese.

The prelate said it is “strange” that the PNP suddenly wanted to investigate the new claims of Advincula, whom they previously called a liar.

“I sincerely wish the PNP could give more time and effort at investigating the truth behind these killings than giving credence to the lies now being peddled by Advincula,” David said.