DOJ: Palace ‘absolutely nothing to do’ with arrest of ‘person of interest’ in ‘Bikoy’ videos
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said Malacañang has nothing to do with the investigation and arrest of a “person of interest” in the series of videos accusing President Rodrigo Duterte’s family and friends of receiving kickbacks from narcotics trade.
“Malacañang has absolutely nothing to do with this. This is an initiative taken by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the light of certain serious allegations issued by an unknown person,” Guevarra said in a press briefing.
In the videos, a certain “Bikoy” accused, among others, presidential son and former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte; long-time aide of the President, Christopher “Bong” Go; and youngest presidential daughter, Kitty, of having links to and benefitting from a drug syndicate.
Members of the presidential family have already denied the allegations.
Not the narco-videos ‘uploader’
Guevarra also clarified that the arrested individual he identified as a certain Rodel Jayme was not the uploader of the videos entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist.”
According to Guevarra, apart from charges for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, Jayme can face charges for violation of the Anti-Child Abuse law.
Guevarra said Jayme was arrested after an National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) forensic examination conducted on his desktop computer, mobile phones, and ISP billing statements, among others, showed he was the “registrant and the administrator” of the website metrobalita.net that “constantly” published the link of the so-called narco-videos, which allegedly facilitated its circulation on social media.
The DOJ chief also said Jayme voluntarily went to the NBI headquarters to clarify issues prior to his arrest and had also voluntarily surrendered his devices and billing statements to NBI’s Cybercrime Division agents, who had gone to his residence to implement the search warrant on April 30.
According to Guevarra, authorities were also looking at other persons of interest as they asked Google, the multinational technology company that owns YouTube, to “preserve” the information of the channel where the videos were uploaded. /kga
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