This joker should be in jail
INTROSPECTIVE - Tony Katigbak (The Philippine Star) - July 23, 2019 - 12:00am

Ridiculous. If I had to sum up the recent news involving sedition charges and the alleged whistleblower “Bikoy”, the hooded YouTuber, there could be no other word that would fit. It’s absolutely ludicrous. And I can’t believe it’s getting the amount of attention it is when there is so much more happening in the Philippines that deserves our focus and our time.

The very heart of this fantastical recently filed complaint is a man identified as Peter Joemel Advincula (if that’s even really his name) who goes by “Bikoy”. Bikoy has claimed that Vice President Leni Robredo and dozens of other administration critics (politicians, clergymen, and recent political candidates) were co-conspirators behind the production and release of a video linking President Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade. His word alone has been enough, thus far, for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to decide to investigate the allegations. Why is word so important that it alone could push them into action? Last I checked there were dozens of cases and hundreds waiting for justice and help daily – with far more iron clad cases.

Personally all of this is enough to make anyone scoff and wonder why in the world the PNP would waste their time and resources, but like a bad joke, it just keeps going. The Palace has denied any involvement in what Trillanes has called “political persecution and harassment,” but they can hardly be surprised that people are going to see that angle. After all, all of the respondents of this complaint are vocal critics of the current administration. It isn’t a stretch to think that the administration could possibly have a hand in it.

Either that or the current government is just incredibly lucky when it comes to people who complain about it, either being silenced or finding themselves in hot water. The same has been true for the media, for political rivals, and now for political colleagues. And again, over a charge made by a man who has absolutely no credibility whatsoever. Are we really to believe that the PNP doesn’t have more pressing matters to deal with? I guess not, since Bikoy is getting more than his 15 minutes of fame.

Personally, I think he belongs in jail and not in witness protection. He has provided absolutely no evidence other than his own testimony and he has been changing his tune quite regularly – which most likely means that he is making adjustments to his testimony to help whoever pays the most. Which again, begs the question, who is paying him now? After all, we can’t forget that, in the beginning, Bikoy had his sights set on President Duterte and his family. And now he has completely turned around and said the opposite. And we’re just supposed to believe him?

Real hard physical evidence and proof must be revealed immediately or this needs to go on the back burner or go away completely. We shouldn’t be wasting our time on the word of a man without a credible reputation. There are far more important things happening in the country that could use our attention, time, and resources.

* * *

While I agree with President Duterte’s adamant insistence in our sovereignty and right to rule our own affairs, I feel that he shouldn’t place too much importance in the ruling of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to look into the bloody war on drugs in the Philippines. While it’s understandable that he is upset with the initiative – started by Iceland and approved by 17 other countries during the 41st session of the UNHRC – he shouldn’t be worried since he believes that everything is above board with his drug war in the country.

At the end of the day, he is right in the sense that it isn’t their business how our government chooses to govern and the actions it takes when it comes to the drug problem in the Philippines since they have no idea what its like here and are merely making judgments from afar. Plus, he might be fearful of the repercussions of an international body being able to tell a country what it should and shouldn’t do. This would set a dangerous precedent. At the same time though, human rights are a global concern and the world, in general, has been worried about the rising number of deaths in the Philippines.

What makes it even more worrisome for other nations is that this bloody war has been racking up the body count, but nothing seems to have changed in terms of the country’s drug problem. The problem (that didn’t take six months to solve) seems to be as big now as it was when the president first took office. And if this is the case, then perhaps it is prudent to reevaluate the current actions, as they don’t seem to be yielding the intended results.

At the end of the day, it makes sense for President Duterte to stand up for the country’s sovereignty. But, as a member of the UNHRC and as a member of the international community – the threats and the anger only make it seem as if we have something to hide or something to be worried about. If our administration truly stands by what they are doing then a probe or investigation shouldn’t make them uneasy in the least.

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