Palace on Bikoy: All lies, black propaganda
Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy faces the media at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines office in Pasig City yesterday.
Palace on Bikoy: All lies, black propaganda
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang was unfazed by the surfacing of Peter Joemel Advincula alias “Bikoy,” who accused some members of President Duterte’s family of benefitting from the illegal drug trade in a series of videos that have gone viral.

Palace officials maintained that his allegations against members of the Duterte family are all lies and black propaganda.

“Let’s hear him out, what he’s going to say. Like what we’ve always been saying, the video is a black propaganda against the government,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday told CNN Philippines.

Advincula surfaced and claimed that he decided to spill the beans due to threats to his life. He left his last job in a private firm in 2018, he said, adding that some members of the syndicate who also want to come out gave him the documents he revealed in the videos.

Advincula said he is willing to face a Senate investigation and tell what he knows.

Panelo expressed belief that the credibility of Bikoy is suspect after he peddled “false accusations” against former presidential aide Christopher “Bong” Go.

In one of his videos, Bikoy accused Go of benefiting from illegal drugs. He claimed Go has a dragon tattoo on his back that contains an alphanumeric code of bank accounts that receive drug money.

Go bared his back to dispute the allegations against him.

“The tattoo he claimed was on the back of Bong Go was proven to be false. You lie in one, you lie in all,” Panelo said.

Panelo said it would be up to government investigators to deal with the claims of Bikoy.

“We will just wait for whatever development the case will go through. We will let the investigators do their job and if they may find any evidence whoever violated the law, then they have to prosecute that person,” the spokesman said.

Bikoy’s statement

“I just want to clarify that I have no connection with any candidate, especially those with Otso Diretso, or other political parties. I also don’t have any connection with the media personalities and institutions that President Duterte named in his matrix. And I do not personally know Rodel Jayme, who reportedly uploaded the videos, and the people that he named,” Advincula said in his opening statement during a hastily called press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office in Pasig City yesterday afternoon.

He said he went to the IBP because he needed legal assistance on the case that he was going to file against the members of the syndicate he named in his “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video.

Advincula, a former employee of VitaPlus, a franchise of First Quadrant multi-level marketing company, categorically identified the President’s son Paolo Duterte, Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio; and Go as alleged leaders of the Davao group that works with the Quadrangle group connected with the illegal drug trade in Bicol.

“I decided to come out first, because there is a threat to my life, and second, because my conscience cannot take the destruction of the family brought about by illegal drugs where I had been a part when I was still a member of the syndicate,” he said.

In the videos, Bikoy accused Go, Paolo, Carpio and the President’s youngest daughter Veronica or Kitty of receiving millions of pesos from the illegal drug trade.

In the fifth episode of the video series uploaded in late April, Bikoy said a drug syndicate working out of Bicol was called the Quadrangle that included former politicians and businessmen.

In his press conference at the IBP, Advincula said his former boss Tess Rañola assigned him to the operations center as control man of the syndicate’s radio base and closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras of their Albay facilities in 2010.

He was then moved to the transmitting and facilitating team where they prepare the monthly “tara,” an internal document that has the list of the monthly allocation of the principals of the syndicate.

Advincula emphasized that the papers he showed in the videos were authentic.

“Included in their job is to scan the codes that are engraved in the tattoos of senior members of the syndicate like Paolo Duterte and Bong Go. These were sent to the syndicate’s financial controller based in Hong Kong to validate the transactions,” he said.

Advincula claimed that he had personally scanned the tattoos of Go and Paolo.

In 2012, Advincula was charged with estafa and sentenced to six years in prison because of a document he signed on the orders of VitaPlus officials.

He was released in 2016 for good behavior and decided to find another job and live peacefully, he said.

“But sadly, Go saw me during an office gathering. He recognized me. And from that time on the owner of the company started harassing me. One day, one of my co-workers told me to leave because my life was in danger,” he said.

“I am asking the Filipino people to pray for my safety and the future of our nation. Illegal drugs will continue to flourish in our country while the members of the syndicate close to President Duterte are involved,” he said.

In closing, Advincula asked the public to join him in his war.

“This is the real war on drugs,” he said.

IBP president Abdiel Dan Fajardo said he didn’t know if Advincula, who was accompanied by several nuns when he arrived at their office past noon, had coordinated with other IBP lawyers before he came “but as you can see our office is open to everyone.”

“I have yet to read whatever his statement was because as you can see we are autonomous, we are a legal attorney’s office, that is the long and short description of it,” Fajardo said when asked if the IBP has evaluated Advincula’s statement.

Minerva Ambrosio, IBP national director for legal aid, said they have interviewed Advincula “but there is a process in the evaluation of a particular legal aid client.”

Ambrosio emphasized that Advincula arrived at their office to seek assistance and they only belatedly learned what he wanted to say during the interview.

NBI probe

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday said it will validate Advincula’s statement linking President Duterte’s relatives and other people close to him before making any move “because this is not an ordinary confession against members of the family of a sitting president.”

“We advise him to come out and cooperate with the investigation. We have to examine if it is true because anybody can come out and say that he is Bikoy. He needs to prove it,” NBI Cybercrime Division chief Vic Lorenzo said.

“As of now, we are still in the process of examining the computers and other gadgets that Rodel Jayme surrendered. Maybe after this, we will see the whole picture. But as of now we cannot say any definitive statement in relation to the videos,” he said.

Lorenzo said “the meat of Advincula’s contention will be the proof that he was indeed the hooded man in the video and the veracity of his allegations.”

The Philippine National Police (PNP) yesterday challenged Advincula to substantiate his allegations.

PNP spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said they welcomed Advincula’s decision to come out in the open.

“Good for him because he just spared himself the trouble of having to hide behind the cloak of anonymity and allowed the opportunity to substantiate his serious accusations,” Banac said in a statement to reporters.

Banac said Advincula should present credible evidence to back his allegations and “convince the Filipino people that he is worth listening to.”

Magdalo party-list group Rep. Gary Alejano yesterday called for a swift and thorough investigation on the allegations made by Advincula.

“The entirety of this issue merits serious attention from everyone,” said Alejano, a senatorial candidate of the opposition Otso Diretso.

He cited Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s earlier pronouncement that the Senate will not initiate an inquiry if Bikoy will not identify himself.

Alejano said those who were named in the so-called Bikoy video series should be investigated.

“My challenge for them remains the same: sign bank waivers to prove themselves. Similarly, Mr. Paolo Duterte must also show his back while Mr. Bong Go should undergo a thorough examination under the supervision of tattoo experts and dematologists,” he said.

“Ultimately, government agencies such as the law enforcement should objectively and carefully handle this issue and perform their mandate,” he said.

Hustler

A police source told The STAR yesterday that Advincula is a professional hustler and would do anything as long as he is paid handsomely.

Advincula was jailed at the NBI in 2016 for large-scale illegal recruitment but was released the following year for “good conduct.”

Bikoy also ran away with the prize money of the beauty contest in Bicol on Aug. 16, 2017.

He is also facing a theft case.

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde ordered a case build-up against Bikoy after he surfaced on television accusing the Duterte family of receiving millions in payola from drug syndicates.

“By the way he speaks and moves, police operatives were able to identify him despite the fact that he covered his face,” said a police source.

The payola matrix Bikoy presented in the media was recycled as he also showed it to police operatives while at the same time boasting that he’s working on it.

“The matrix he is presenting is not new as it was shown already to several policemen in the past. That’s why we find it easy to identify him,” a police official said.

Relatives of Advincula arranged his surrender to the police Sunday but he failed to show up.

Instead, he showed up, accompanied by nuns, at the IBP where he read a press statement before TV cameras and selected reporters. – With Rey Galupo, Helen Flores, Non Alquitran, EmmanuelTupas

BLACK PROPAGANDA PETER JOEMEL ADVINCULA ALIAS BIKOY SALVADOR PANELO
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