‘Bikoy,’ CIDG official face perjury raps; asked to pay P15M in damages
MANILA, Philippines — Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claimed to be the hooded figure “Bikoy” in the Ang Totoong Narcolist video series, and a police official are facing a perjury complaint for allegedly providing a false testimony as evidence in the sedition case filed against opposition figures.
The joint complaint was lodged by human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, and former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te on Friday at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The three lawyers from the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) accused Advincula and Police Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) National Capital Region (NCR) chief, of committing the offenses of perjury and offering false testimony in evidence in an official proceeding.
They said Advincula had “voluntarily, knowingly, and willfully made untruthful statements” against them.
“On or about July 22, 2019, knowing that Advincula was a false witness and that (his sworn statement) contained untruthful statements knowingly made against us, Ibay nevertheless submitted it as basis of a criminal complaint against us,” the complaint read.
Advincula, however, was included as a respondent in the charges of sedition, inciting to sedition, cyberlibel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice earlier filed by CIDG.
Advincula claimed to be the hooded narrator in the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos, which recounted the alleged involvement of President Rodrigo Duterte’s family and close allies to the illegal drugs trade.
But Advincula eventually recanted his testimony and said the video was part of “Project Sodoma,” an alleged plot to topple the Duterte administration.
“The allegation by Advincula and Ibay that we, Attys. Diokno and Tañada, together with some other Otso Diresto candidates, were in a meeting with Advincula to plan and discuss this so-called ‘Project Sodoma’ is an absolutely willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood in violation of law,” the complaint read.
“The truth of the matter is that we…never met and do not personally know Advincula,” it added. “We were not aware of and were never part of any ‘Project Sodoma’.”
Advincula alleged that he met the Otso Diresto candidates on March 4 at the Leung Hall at the Ateneo de Manila University campus to discuss the alleged project.
But the complainants said they were actually there only to attend a senatorial candidate forum organized by online news site Rappler and the university’s Political Science Department.
They said that Advincula’s claims of meeting them at the alleged time and place “is an outright lie and perjurious.”
Advicula had also claimed meeting the “Project Sodoma” team with Te on May 2, 2019 to finalize their supposed plot to oust the Duterte administration, the complaint noted.
Te said he did meet someone who later introduced himself as Advincula on May 4, not May 2 as the latter had claimed in his sworn statement.
But the lawyer said he had no personal knowledge that the man he had a meeting with was the man who claimed to be “Bikoy.”
Te said after a brief conversation with Advincula, the lawyer felt he “was not credible” based on his assessment and 28-year experience as a FLAG lawyer.
“I had reservations taking him on as a FLAG client,” Te said, adding that he informed the organization’s national chair, Diokno, of his reservation about Advincula “as to his lack of credibility.”
P15 million in damages
“The false and malicious accusations of Ibay and advincula that we committed sedition, inciting to sedition has cast aspersions upon our good names and impaired our standing in the legal profession and in our communities,” the complaint read.
“These ill-willed slew of malicious and baseless accusations against us has also forced us to take time off from our clients and impaired our ability to attend to their concerns thus adversely affecting the income we earn from the honest practice of our profession,” they added.
The complainants then asked that Advincula and Ibay pay each of them an amount of not less than P5 million for “actual and moral damages” as the cases filed against them “has caused us perturbation and anxiety that should be compensated.”
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