‘Bikoy’ surfaces at IBP office, claims his life is in danger
MANILA, Philippines — A former marketing executive faced journalists on Monday, claiming he was “Bikoy,” the hooded man in a series of videos on YouTube who linked members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the illegal drug trade, and that he came out of hiding because his life was in danger.
Peter Joemel Advincula appeared in a news conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office in Pasig City just as the Department of Justice (DOJ) was announcing it would bring charges of inciting to sedition and cyberlibel against Rodel Jayme, who owned the YouTube channel through which the Bikoy videos were propagated on the internet.
Advincula, who claimed he had done time for fraud, said threats to his life and a desire to clear his conscience had driven him to come forward.
“I have seen how drugs have destroyed families, and I was once part of spreading these as a member of a syndicate,” Advincula said.
No politics involved
He read from a two-page statement, denying links to the opposition coalition Otso Diretso in next Monday’s midterm elections or any other political party, journalists and news organizations, and Jayme, who was arrested last week after a National Bureau of Investigation examination of his computer led to his discovery as the owner of the metrobalita.net website to which the Bikoy videos were uploaded.
Malacañang had tried to link Bikoy to a destabilization plot against Mr. Duterte allegedly hatched by certain journalists, online news sites and activist lawyers.
Advincula repeated his allegations in the videos that Mr. Duterte’s son Paolo Duterte, son-in-law Manases Carpio, and former special presidential assistant Christopher “Bong” Go were members of an illegal drug syndicate who had amassed millions in narcomoney.
He said he was ready to face a Senate investigation “to prove everything I have put forth in the video series.”
“As long as the family and allies of President Duterte are involved in drug syndicates, drugs will continue to flood our country,” he said.
“Join me in this fight. This is the true war on drugs,” Advincula said before abruptly leaving.
He took no questions from reporters.
Accompanied by nuns
Lawyer June Ambrosio, director of the IBP National Center for Legal Aid, said Advincula came to her office for legal assistance on Monday morning accompanied by a group of nuns.
Ambrosio said she did not know which religious community the nuns represented.
IBP national president Abdiel Fajardo said the center had not yet accepted Advincula as a client, as the man who claimed he was Bikoy had to pass customary tests to determine whether he had the means to hire a lawyer and to look into the merits of his case.
In his statement, Advincula said he was hoping the IBP would assist him in preparing an affidavit and filing charges against Go, Carpio — who is married to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte — and Paolo Duterte, a former vice mayor of Davao.
Advincula said he had worked as a marketing executive at a company in Bicol region called Vita Plus.
He said his boss, Tess Rañola, assigned him to the preparation of internal documents and that in February 2010, she linked him up with a drug ring in the region.
Tattoo on the back
He said he was also tasked with scanning codes that represented bank account numbers and that were tattooed onto the backs of syndicate members.
“There were several times where I myself scanned the code on the tattoo of Bong Go, which is why I said he and Paolo Duterte had a dragon tattoo,” he said.
Both Go and Paolo Duterte have denied they have dragon tattoos on their back.
Rañola filed the complaint with the NBI that led to the arrest of Jayme.
Rañola was mentioned in the Bikoy videos. At the NBI on Friday, she said she was “just an ordinary person, mother and widow.”
“I could not be involved in a drug syndicate because I have no idea about politics. I don’t know anyone and I am not a supporter for any candidate,” she said.
Advincula said he was jailed in 2012 for estafa involving documents he had signed at Vita Plus, but was released in early 2016 for good behavior.
He said he found a new job, which he did not specify, but ran into Go at a company affair.
After that encounter with Go, he said he began to get threats to his life.
He said he went into hiding in August 2018 after leaving the syndicate.
Before Advincula surfaced, the DOJ had questioned Bikoy’s credibility and refused to commit to an investigation of his claims in the videos.
On Monday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra dared Advincula to file charges with the NBI if he had evidence against the people he mentioned in the videos.
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