Lacson’s panel ready to probe ‘Bikoy’s’ claims within the week
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs is ready to investigate the allegations of “Bikoy” even within this week but on one condition.
“Bikoy” must personally present a sworn statement and his evidence to support his accusations.
“Like it or not, Bikoy has become a political, if not an election issue,” Senator Panfilo Lacson, chair of the committee, said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.
“The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs can schedule a hearing this week on one condition: Bikoy must personally present a sworn statement and his evidence to support his accusations,” he added.
“Bikoy” is the hooded man in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos uploaded on YouTube and published on metrobalita.net.
On Monday, a man who identified himself as Peter Joemel Advincula surfaced in a news conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office in Pasig City and claimed to be “Bikoy.”
Advincula stood by allegations made by the Bikoy in the video, linking President Rodrigo Duterte’s family and allies, including former special presidential assistant Christopher “Bong” Go, to the illegal drug trade.
But Lacson said the Senate could not just summon Advincula to face a hearing unless he backs his claims with evidence.
“Isa lang ang condition na hinihingi natin. Ako bilang chairman ng committee on public order and dangerous drugs, isa lang, basta siya mag-present personally anong ebidensyang meron siya pwede kami magpatawag ng pagdinig,” the senator said in a separate interview over dzMM.
He said the accuser may present, for instance, bank documents or wire transfer to back his allegations against the personalities being linked into the illegal drug trade.
Lacson said Advincula’s testimony before the Senate would be a way to test his credibility.
The Senate probe, he said, may also provide added inputs on legislation against perjury, especially in congressional investigations.
“I filed Senate Bill 253 to protect innocent people from being wrongly jailed or having their reputations suffer because of lying witnesses,” he said in another statement.
Under his bill, any person who would give false testimony in any criminal case would suffer the same penalty for the crime the defendant is being accused of.
The measure is pending before the Senate committee on justice and human rights. /cbb
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