Duterte: ‘Bikoy’ a Trillanes, Otso Diretso creation
DAVAO CITY, DAVAO DEL SUR, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said the hooded man in the videos who had linked members of his family and their associates to the illegal drug trade was a creation of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the Otso Diretso opposition coalition.
Speaking at the campaign rally of Hugpong ng Pagbabago on Friday night, the President said that the man identified in the “True Narcolist” videos as Bikoy and the whistleblower who came forward to claim he was the hooded man were two different persons.
The President said Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula, who sought the legal assistance of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) when he surfaced on Monday, was a Bicolano while the Bikoy in the videos was a Maranao.
“Actually, that Bikoy is a creation of Magdalo and Otso Diretso. It’s the production of Trillanes,” the President said.
“The Bikoy whose face was covered in the videos was not the same Bikoy who came forward because the latter was a Bicolano, while the Bikoy in the videos spoke with the accent of my Maranao relatives,” he added.
IBP legal aid
Although the Maranaos came mainly from Marawi City and the Lanao provinces, the President said they “are already all over the country, including Luzon.”
The President even mimicked the accent of the Maranaos, saying that was how the Bikoy in the videos sounded.
Bikoy alleged in the videos that members of the President’s family and their associates received millions of pesos in bank deposits from a drug syndicate.
On Monday, Advincula said he had asked the IBP legal aid center for help in preparing an affidavit and filing charges against the people he had linked to the narcotics trade, including the President’s son Paolo Duterte, son-in-law Manases Carpio and former special aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
Paolo Duterte and Go have vehemently denied the allegations.
Advincula said he decided to go public because he had received threats to his life.
The Philippine National Police on Friday launched a manhunt for Advincula after warrants for his arrest were issued by the courts in La Trinidad, Benguet province, and Baguio City for alleged estafa and large-scale illegal recruitment.
Malacañang had tried to link the Bikoy videos to an alleged destabilization plot against Mr. Duterte.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said the videos were part of a plan to discredit the administration and promote the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates in Monday’s midterm elections.
Panelo said Advincula was merely a “pawn” in a “black propaganda” and that investigators were looking into the identities of the people who were operating behind the whistleblower.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday warned Advincula that he face criminal charges if he could not prove his allegations.
Trillanes has denied involvement in the videos, saying there was no need to discredit the Duterte administration because the President already had blood in his hands for the deaths of thousands of Filipinos in his war on drugs, cursed God and invented allegations against his critics.
Advincula has said he is not involved with any of the members of the opposition, but senators have questioned his credibility.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Friday disclosed that Advincula used to work for police officers who wanted to be “under the good graces” of the Duterte administration.
He urged the PNP to dig deeper into Advincula’s police connections.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also disclosed that Advincula got in touch with his office in December 2016 and offered information that would link former President Benigno Aquino III, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Sen. Leila de Lima and former Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala to the illegal drug trade. —With a report from Leila B. Salaverria
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