Lawyer claims ‘Bikoy’ applied for WPP; DOJ chief says otherwise
MANILA, Philippines — Peter Joemel Advincula alias “Bikoy” has not applied to be placed under the witness protection program (WPP) in relation to the sedition complaint filed against Vice President Leni Robredo and several key personalities in the political opposition.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said this Tuesday, contradicting the claim of Advincula’s lawyer, Larry Gadon, who said his client already asked for WPP coverage.
The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) has filed a sedition case against Robredo et al. based on the testimony of Advincula, who identified himself as the “Bikoy” in the controversial “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that alleged the involvement of President Rodrigo Duterte’s family members and allies in the illegal drug trade.
PNP-CIDG also named Advincula as a respondent in the sedition complaint.
But Gadon told reporters in an interview at Camp Crame on Tuesday that his client has now applied to be placed under the government’s WPP.
“Oo. Pero syempre hindi naman ‘yun five minutes ma-a-approve (Yes, but it won’t be approved in five minutes),” Gadon said when asked if they have already applied for WPP coverage.
Gadon was then asked when they have filed their WPP application, to which he replied: “Ilang araw na rin eh (It’s been a few days).”
He even added that he is confident that the DOJ will grant their request for WPP coverage.
But in a text message to INQUIRER.net, Guevarra said that upon checking with records, Advincula has no pending application for WPP before the DOJ.
“Confirmed. Advincula has not filed any application for WPP cover with the DOJ,” he said.
In another text message, Gadon seemed to have recanted his earlier statement, saying the documents for the WPP application are still being prepared.
“Ginagawa pa lang documentation,” Gadon said when asked for his comment on Guevarra’s statement. “Preparing, filing out documents is applying. It’s just a matter of completing and submitting.” /kga
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