PNP files criminal raps vs Robredo, Trillanes, dozen others over 'Bikoy' videos
The Philippine National Police presented Peter Joemel Advincula, claiming to be "Bikoy" of the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" video series, in a news conference on May 23, 2019.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

PNP files criminal raps vs Robredo, Trillanes, dozen others over 'Bikoy' videos

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - July 18, 2019 - 7:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — The police on Thursday filed criminal raps, anchored on allegations by estafa convict Peter Joemel Advincula, against Vice President Leni Robredo and a dozen other personalities associated with the Liberal Party and with the Catholic Church over the “Ang Totoong Narco List” anonymous video series.

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group filed sedition, inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice charges against Robredo and at least 35 others.

READ: The shifting narratives on the 'Bikoy' videos, according to Peter Advincula

The video series that featured a hooded man known by the alias of “Bikoy” alleged that President Rodrigo Duterte and his family have drug trade links.

Advincula, who claimed to be “Bikoy,” is named as respondent and witness in the complaint. He was assisted by lawyer and defeated senatorial candidate Larry Gadon, who filed an impeachment complaint against former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and is facing disbarment complaints.

Duterte critics named

Sens. Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima were named as respondents in the complaint.

All of the Otso Diretso candidates—except Roxas—were also tagged.

Others named in the complaint were Caloocan Archbishop Pablo Virgilio David and Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas. It also tagged two other bishops and Fr. Robert Reyes.

The PNP anchored the charges on Advincula’s testimony, which he first bared in a press conference at the police headquarters on May 27.

 “As averred by Mr. Advincula, he was engaged by the respondents to spread lies against the president, his family and close associate, making them to appear as illegal drug trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money,” the transmittal letter of the complaint read.

The PNP accused them of planning “to spread false information against President Duterte’s family and administration officials in order to agitate the general population into making mass protest with the possibility of bringing down the president from the position and allow Vice-President Robredo to instantly succeed.”

From disbelief to basis of complaint

In a span of one month, Advincula pointed his fingers at and accused two very different camps.

On May 7, at an impromptu press briefing, he stood by the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos which alleged links to the narcotics trade of the Duterte family.

Several government officials, including presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, earlier raised doubts on Advincula's credibility. 

When Advincula first surfaced and linked the Dutertes to the narcotics trade, Panelo said: “It appears that he has been incarcerated in 2012 for conviction of illegal recruitment and large scale estafa, as well as for theft... These crimes involve moral turpitude that goes to the very integrity and credibility of Advincula or Bikoy.”

Weeks later, on May 27, however, he said former Sen. Antonio Trillanes and members of the Catholic Church hired him to besmirch the name of the Dutertes. Advincula alleged that in the plan, Robredo would “appoint a certain congressman or senator to be the vice president” and that person would be Trillanes.

Senate President Vicente Sotto earlier said Advincula—while detained at the New Bilibid Prison—was the same person who reached out to his office in 2016, accusing then-President Benigno Aquino III, then-Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and then-Justice Secretary De Lima of alleged links to a drug syndicate called “Quadrangle.” 

The Department of Justice, for its part, said it would form a panel of state prosecutors to hear and conduct the preliminary investigation on the complaint.

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