Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday said he would not comment on Advincula’s latest revelations until the anti-Duterte video maker turned opposition accuser submits a sworn statement.
Michael Varcas
Palace: Accuser must support new claims
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang wants Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claims to be behind the viral anti-Duterte videos, to present proof that would substantiate his claims against the opposition.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday said he would not comment on Advincula’s latest revelations until the anti-Duterte video maker turned opposition accuser submits a sworn statement. 

Panelo noted that Advincula reversed his story, this time implicating the opposition and casting renewed doubt on his credibility.

“We would rather wait for the investigation to be conducted by the PNP (Philippine National Police) relative to his revelations. As a lawyer, I just don’t believe in what a person says... He mentioned many names. For one, he has to submit a sworn statement. So we’d rather have the PNP do its job,” Panelo said at a press briefing yesterday.

“He has to substantiate, he has to submit proof,” Panelo added. Earlier this month, Advincula claimed he is “Bikoy,” the narrator of online videos linking members of the Duterte family to illegal drugs trade. ?Bikoy accused President Duterte’s son Paolo, son-in-law Manases Carpio and former aide Christopher Go of receiving money from drug syndicates.

Panelo had dismissed the videos as “propaganda” intended to discredit the President and to boost the candidacy of the opposition’s senatorial slate. At an earlier press conference, Panelo said an investigation on the allegations of Bikoy would just be a waste of government’s time and taxpayers’ money.

He also questioned the credibility of Advincula, saying the man who claimed to be Bikoy was jailed in 2012 for illegal recruitment, large scale estafa and theft. ?The crimes involve moral turpitude and “go to the very integrity and credibility” of Advincula, Panelo added.

Advincula surrendered to the police yesterday and retracted his allegations against the Duterte family and Go. He claimed the opposition Liberal Party and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV were behind the “Bikoy” videos. Asked by the media whether he thought Advincula has credibility, Panelo stressed he would not comment until a sworn statement is submitted. 

“As I said, we have to wait for the findings of the investigation. First he has to submit a sworn statement. Second is to submit proof on his allegations naming certain personalities involved in conspiracy to produce that video,” he said. Panelo said it would be up to the PNP to decide whether to file cases against Advincula. 

“The surrender of Mr. Peter Advincula, who up to this point claims to be Bikoy, to the police authorities could be the onset of the unmasking of the persons behind the ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist’ videos, the black propaganda that we said before was crafted and unleashed by those who want to discredit the President and his family,” Panelo said.

“We view this as a matter of law enforcement, in sharp contrast to his previous action to conduct a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, where the obvious objective was political character assassination or black propaganda against the administration,” he added. Panelo could not say if the Duterte family would accept Advincula’s apology, because it was something “personal” to them. 

Asked whether the President would allow Advincula to see his daughter Kitty, Panelo replied: “I think a public confession is more than a personal confession because your audience will be the entire county.” Bikoy had claimed Kitty, Duterte’s teenage daughter, also benefited from the drug trade. 

Panelo was also mum on the Liberal Party’s denial of Advincula’s allegations but claimed that the opposition “has been harassing this government.” When asked to react to claims that Bikoy is a creation of the administration, Panelo said: “My response to that is ha ha ha.”

“We reiterate that no member of the First Family has been, is, or will ever be involved in illegal drugs. In the end truth will always come out in full bloom, no matter how it is clothed with falsities,” he added. 

Creature of the opposition

Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio accused the opposition of creating the Bikoy videos.

“Bikoy is a scam created by people who oppose the Duterte administration to discredit the President and some members of our family,” Carpio said. 

She described the group behind the video as “disorganized.”

“This group is so disorganized they cannot even get to first base because the path to their objective is in disarray,” she said.

“If I were the leader of the group, I will shoot myself in the head, get rid of the brain that is not useful,” she added.

Her brother, Davao City representative-elect Paolo, called for a full investigation of the issue.

“And now that many names have also surfaced, to include Sen. Risa Hontiveros and several lawyers, I believe a proper investigation is in order,” the former vice mayor said.

In a statement posted at his Facebook account Thursday, the younger Duterte said “from the very start, it was clear that the Bikoy videos were fabricated with a narrative taken straight from the playbook of people whose desire is to destroy our name and our reputation.

“All the lies presented were also meant to crush the trust of the Filipino people in the authorities and inspire public disgust against the government – truly the handiwork of people who want to undermine the Duterte administration,” Paolo said.

He accused Trillanes of masterminding fabrication of the videos.

Senator-elect Go, for his part, also called for an investigation to identify the people behind the videos.

Go said Advincula could not have done the production by himself and there were other people behind him.

“Bikoy lost (his) credibility and the others left him hanging. There should be an investigation into this because I believe this Bikoy could not have done it without any help,” Go said.

Go stressed he is not after Bikoy but the other personalities who had used Advincula.

He said Trillanes, a known critic of the President, was behind Advincula.

Go said Advincula was apparently part of black propaganda against him and the President.

He said Advincula in 2016 tried to implicate former president Benigno Aquino III and several other officials of his administration.

Advincula then turned to implicating Duterte and other members of his family in the illegal drug trade.

And now he again changed tune, this time blaming the opposition for leaving him with an empty bag, Go noted.

Advincula yesterday claimed seven of the eight Otso Diretso senatorial candidates were behind his fabricated exposé. He was supposed to receive P500,000 from them.

He claimed he did not get any money from them while he and his family are now the subject of death threats, the reason why he surrendered.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it will investigate the allegations hurled by Advincula.

DOJ spokesman Mark Perete said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been tapped to conduct the probe as he urged Advincula to cooperate and present evidence of his claims.

“Considering the gravity of Mr. Advincula’s allegations then and now, any and all questions regarding the veracity and truthfulness of those allegations are best threshed out and addressed in a through investigation conducted by experts, following a rigorous legal process towards the ascertainment of the truth,” Perete stressed.

Perete recalled that when Advincula first surfaced last May 6 and reiterated his claims in the videos, the DOJ made a similar call for him to cooperate with the investigation and submit evidence to support his allegations.

“We reiterate that call today in light of his new revelations regarding his transactions with certain personalities in the production and dissemination of those videos, and the equally serious implications of those revelations,” Perete said.  – With  Edith Regalado, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Edu Punay

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