'Bikoy' faces new arrest warrant for skipping arraignment on perjury case

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
'Bikoy' faces new arrest warrant for skipping arraignment on perjury case
Peter Joemel Advincula who claimed that he is "Bikoy," the hooded man in the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos, left the Philippine National Police headquarters on May 25, 2019 after he posted bail for estafa charges against him. But he returned two days later for protective custody.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — A Manila court has again issued a warrant of arrest against Peter Joemel Advincula, the man claiming he was the "Bikoy" in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, over a perjury charge for linking Free Legal Assistance Group lawyers to a supposed ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 17 Presiding Judge Karla Funtila-Abugan ordered the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Advincula for failing to attend the arraignment and preliminary conference for the perjury case against him.

“In view of the failure of the accused to appear in today’s hearing despite notice and upon motions of both the private prosecutor and public prosecutor, let the cash bail posted by accused [Advincula] be forfeited and confiscated in favor of the government,” the one-page order issued Monday read.”

“Issue a warrant of arrest against him with bail at double the amount of the previous bail posted by the accused,” it added.

The same court in January issued a warrant against Advincula and set bail at P18,000.

The charge stemmed from a complaint filed by FLAG lawyers Chel Diokno, Erin Tañada and Theodore Te. The perjury case against Advincula is an offshoot of a sedition complaint the police filed against more than 30 personalities linked to the political opposition.

Advincula was a respondent and witness in the complaint.

The FLAG lawyers accused Advincula of lying in his sworn affidavit when he linked them to “Project Sodoma”, a supposed plot to erode trust in the government and lead to Duterte's ouster.

In the end, only 11 people — including Advincula and former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV — named in the police complaint were charged with conspiracy to commit sedition. Complaints against dozens of others, including the FLAG lawyers, were dismissed.

Arraignment in August

The Manila court noted that the three lawyers and their defense counsel, lawyer Doroteo Miguel Carillo were present during the arraignment.

It then directed the prosecution to secure indorsement from the Department of Justice so a Manila public prosecutor may conduct further proceedings on the case.

The arraignment and preliminary conference of the case have been reset to August 26 in the morning.

Judge Funtila-Abugan also stated in her order that her husband, Assistant State Prosecutor Herbert Calvin Abugan, is the investigating prosecutor of a separate estafa complaint against Advincula.

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