PETER Joemel Advincula, the man claiming to be the netizen “Bikoy” in the video series against President Rodrigo R. Duterte, surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday.
“He surrendered to us, particularly sa Northern Police District yesterday afternoon. He heeded…our call na mag-surrender na lang siya (to just surrender) because he felt the pressure of manhunt operations against him,” PNP chief Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde said in a press briefing on Thursday, May 23.
Charges of large-scale illegal recruitment and estafa filed in Baguio City are pending against Mr. Advincula, who now claimed that the video series “Ang Totoong Narcolist” (the Real Narcolist) — linking Mr. Duterte and his family and associates to the drug trade — was orchestrated by the opposition Liberal Party (LP), together with Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV.
“‘Yun ay pawang orchestrated lamang ng mga nasa kabilang party (It was all orchestrated by the other party) which is the Liberal Party under the handling of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV,” Mr. Advincula said in a press conference by the police.
Mr. Advincula said he met Mr. Trillanes through a certain Fr. Albert Alejo. He also said the video series was part of a “Project Sodoma” aimed at ousting Mr. Duterte.
“Ang Project Sodoma ay isang proyekto para pabagsakin si President Duterte at makaupo sa posisyon ay si Vice President Leni Robredo (Project Sodoma is a project to oust President Duterte so Vice President Leni Robredo could take over),” Mr. Advincula said. “Hinahabol ni Senator Trillanes bago matapos ang term niya (This was being pushed by Senator Trillanes before the end of his term)….The Vice-President will then appoint from the Senate or from the House (someone) to become the vice-president, and Senator Sonny will be in (that) line (of succession).”
“Hindi lang si Senator Trillanes kundi pati ‘yung iba pang staff, miyembro ng Liberal Party (It’s not just Senator Trillanes, but also other staff, members of the Liberal Party), gaya ng staff ni Senator [Leila] De Lima at mismo si Senator Risa Hontiveros (just like the staff of Senator Leila de Lima and even Senator Risa Hontiveros herself). Ilang beses kami nagkaroon ng pag-u-usap at deliberation (We had several discussions and meetings before).”
Mr. Advincula said that among the LP-led Otsyo Diretsyo candidates, Manuel A. Roxas II was the only one he didn’t meet. On the other hand, he met Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo once.
“Si Ma’am Leni Robredo po, isang beses lang po (I only saw Ma’am Leni Robredo once)….Hindi po siya humarap sa meeting, parang nagpakita lang (She did not attend the meeting, she just showed up),” he said.
Mr. Advincula said he was promised P500,000 as well as the dismissal of his cases in exchange for participating in the videos.
For its part, The Department of Justice (DoJ) reiterated its request to Mr. Advincula that he submit himself for investigation.
“We reiterate that call today in light of his new revelations regarding his transactions with certain personalities in the production and dissemination of those videos, and the equally serious implications of those revelations,” DoJ Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk L. Perete said in a statement.
Mr. Advincula first surfaced at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on May 6 where he applied for but was denied legal assistance.
Malacañang, for its part, said Thursday that Mr. Advincula should sign a sworn statement on his allegations.
In his press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo said, “As a lawyer, I just don’t believe in what [the] person says. He has to substantiate [his claims]. He has to submit proof.”
Mr. Panelo also denied claims by critics that “Bikoy” is the administration’s “creation.” “Ha, ha, ha, ha. That’s my response,” he said.
Davao City First District Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte, for his part, said, “a proper investigation is in order.”
In a news conference that Thursday, Ms. Robredo said she never met Mr. Advincula.
“Waste of time iyong pagpaplano para pabagsakin iyong administrasyon. Saka tingin ko subversion iyon ng will ng mamamayan,” the Vice-President also said. (Ouster plots are a waste of time. And it’s subversion of the people’s will.)
“(K)ung ito ay ginagawang paraan para lalong yurakan at tapakan iyong Liberal Party o kaming nasa oposisyon, gusto ko lang sabihin sa ating mga kasama na hindi ito magiging dahilan para magpapatinag tayo.” (If this is a way to trample on the Liberal Party, this won’t affect us).
Mr. Trillanes said in a separate statement, Thursday.“This could be another ploy of the administration to harass the opposition. For now, I will be consulting with my lawyers so that we could also file the appropriate charges against him.”
Akbayan Senator Risa N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said in part, “And now, when he sings a different song and accuses the opposition of outlandish things, all of a sudden his credibility is restored? How absurd.” — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Arjay L. Balinbin, and Charmaine A. Tadalan