De Lima: Gov’t out to silence ‘Bikoy’ after arrest of website creator
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima said government is trying to silence “Bikoy,” following the arrest of Rodel Jayme, the creator of the website that published the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos which linked the President and members of his immediate family to the illegal drug trade.
“The arrest of Jayme is not an act of justice but an unfortunate attempt at winning brownie points from Pres. Duterte by the current DOJ [Department of Justice] Secretary, something his predecessor has gained notoriety of,” De Lima said in a dispatch Saturday from Camp Crame where she is being detained.
“It appears from the series of events that the intent is to silence “Bikoy” and prevent any further exposé on the First Family,” she added.
“Bikoy” is the hooded narrator in the “Totoong Narcolist” video. It is a series of videos accusing the President and his immediate family of involvement in illegal drug trade.
Jayme, was arrested after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) found that he was “registrant and the administrator” of the metrobalita.net that “constantly” publishes the link to the “Bikoy” videos.
DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Jayme voluntarily went to the NBI Headquarters to clarify issues on his arrest and voluntarily surrendered his devices for investigation on April 30.
On Friday, the NBI also filed an inciting to sedition complaint against Jayme. The website creator will also be subjected to inquest proceedings before the National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Trolls vs Robredo
The detained senator also expressed dismay over trolls spreading fake information linking Vice President Leni Robredo to Jayme.
“Internet trolls are already spreading lies linking Vice President Robredo to Jayme. It’s frightening to see how fast these trolls operate,” De Lima said.
With this, De Lima urged the DOJ to look into the internet trolls attacking Robredo similar to how the department is handling the case of “Bikoy.”
“This is the cybercrime that necessitates action from our DOJ and I hope that our DOJ and NBI can go after these trolls with the same zeal as they have against ‘Bikoy,’ she said.
Focus on EJK cases
De Lima, a staunch critic of the President, also asked the DOJ to focus on investigating more pressing issues such as extra-judicial killings (EJKs) under the administration’s drug war and cases involving the President’s critics.
“Bakit hindi pagtuunan ng pansin ng DOJ Secretary ang libo-libong EJK na hanggang ngayon ay walang tigil na nagaganap sa bansa dahil walang kinakasuhan na salarin ang DOJ? Bakit hindi pa nila pagtuunan ng pansin ang daan-daang higit na mahahalagang kasong nakabinbin sa DOJ na hindi laban sa mga kritiko ng Pangulo?” De Lima said. /muf