Lacson: Cancelled probe ‘setup’ to unmask ‘Bikoy’ backers
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson admitted on Thursday that the scheduled hearing at the Senate on Friday, which was later cancelled, was just a setup to find out the people behind “Bikoy.”
The Senate committee on public order headed by Lacson had already summoned Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be “Bikoy” in “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, to a hearing at 9:30 a.m.
In a series of videos that circulated in social media, “Bikoy” linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s relatives and allies in the illegal drug trade.
But Lacson cancelled the hearing, after Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III revealed that Advincula was the same person, who approached his office and tried to link former President Benigno Aquino III and other former government officials to illegal drugs.
“Now it can be told, this is regarding the “Bikoy” caper,” he said at the Kapihan sa Senado.
“The Senate President and I would have wanted as were originally intended to summon Bikoy to a committee hearing and testify, continue to perjure himself and then we will call in Hutch Altavas to refute whatever documents Bikoy would produce and the testimony, including ding the sworn statement that he had prepared.”
Altavas was Sotto’s chief political affairs, who met with Advincula while he was in jail in 2016.
“Ang reason is, gusto sana naming makita sino yung mga kasama ni Bikoy pagpasok, pagpunta sa Senate. So without even asking him kung sino yung nagba-back sa kanya sino nagsusuporta, pwedeng makita natin,” Lacson said.
But the plan did not push through as Sotto was scheduled to appear in a press forum on Wednesday.
Lacson said he and Sotto just agreed to just expose Advincula and not push through with the hearing anymore.
At that time, Lacson said, he already saw Advincula’s affidavit in 2016 and other documents, which would show the similarities of the latter’s allegations then and now.
Asked then if the hearing was a setup, Lacson said: “Well, you make call it that, for lack of a better word. Set up talaga yun, which did not happen.”
Had the hearing pushed through, he said, Advincula may be cited in contempt as his new allegations would be done under oath at the Senate.
But at the this point, he said, it would now be difficult to believe Advincula’s words.
“Maniniwala ba tayo sa kanya kung ano man ang sasabihin nya pa? Wala na, zero credibility,” Lacson said.
So when Asked again if he would still entertain Advincula should the latter insist on testifying at the Senate, he said: “No more because it doesn’t make sense.”
“Kasi sabi ko nga enough of this non-sense because non-sense naman talaga yung sinabi nya at saka yung ginagawa nya so why deal with the person with that character…” Lacson added. /muf
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