WHAT WENT BEFORE: Peter Joemel Advincula
In April, videos showing a hooded man who linked members of President Duterte’s family to the illegal drug trade, were posted on Facebook.
The man, who identified himself as Bikoy, claimed Paolo Duterte, a son of the President, received payoffs from a drug syndicate.
Bikoy also claimed that the President’s 15-year-old daughter Veronica, longtime aide Bong Go, and lawyer Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, accepted payoffs from the syndicate.
In a Facebook post, Paolo Duterte denied receiving kickbacks from drug syndicates and blamed a certain “J.S.” for the video. On April 4, he tagged Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as the one behind it.
On May 6, Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be Bikoy, appeared at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) main office in Pasig City and told reporters that he had made the videos to show that the President’s family and associates benefited from the narcotics trade.
Advincula said he had asked the IBP for help in preparing an affidavit and filing charges against the people he had linked to the narcotics trade.
He had since gone into hiding after a court in La Trinidad, Benguet province, and another in Baguio City issued warrants for his arrest for estafa and large-scale illegal recruitment.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the videos were part of a plan to discredit the administration and promote the opposition senatorial candidates in the May 13 midterm elections.
On May 7, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, summoned Advincula to a Senate inquiry that was initially set for May 10.
Lacson canceled the hearing after Senate President Vicente Sotto III told a news forum on May 8 that Advincula was the same man who came to his office in 2016 and tried to “sell” similar accusations against then President Benigno Aquino III and some members of his Cabinet.
The IBP refused to help Advincula, saying it did not want to be involved in partisan politics.
On May 10, President Duterte said the hooded man in the videos was a creation of Trillanes and the opposition coalition in the midterm elections.
Speaking at a campaign rally of his chosen senatorial candidates, Duterte said the man identified in the videos as Bikoy and the whistleblower who came forward and claimed he was Bikoy were different.
Duterte said Advincula was from Bicol while the Bikoy in the videos was a Maranao.
On May 13, Panelo dismissed the latest Bikoy video, saying Advincula’s “lies” had been unmasked. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Source: Inquirer Archives
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