A MAN claiming to be “Bikoy” surfaced on Monday at the country’s mandatory bar organization, to claim that controversial identity behind the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” (The Real Narcolist) videos linking members of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s family to illegal drugs.
In a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) main office in Pasig, Peter Joemel Advincula identified himself as the “Bikoy” behind the said videos which have prompted Mr. Duterte’s ire and subsequently led to an investigation and pursuit of the video perpetrators by the Department of Justice.
Mr. Advincula said he went to the IBP to seek legal assistance against the drug syndicate in which he tagged presidential son Paolo Z. Duterte, senatorial candidate and special assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” T. Go, and the younger Mr. Duterte’s brother-in-law, Manases Carpio. Mr. Advincula also identified as part of the drug network a “Quadrangle Group” from the Bicol region.
“Nagdesisyon akong lumabas dahil una — merong banta sa aking buhay. Ikalawa — dahil sa tawag ng konsensya. Nakikita ko ang pagwasak ng pamilya na dulot ng droga, na kung saan naging bahagi ako sa pagkakalat nito nuong miyembro pa ako ng sindikato,” Mr. Advincula said, quoting a prepared statement at the IBP press conference that was video-streamed by CNN Philippines and Rappler.com, among others.
(I have come out because, first — there’s a threat to my life. Second — because of my conscience. I have seen the destruction of families because of drugs, and I took part in its proliferation as a member of the syndicate).
Mr. Advincula denied being affiliated with the Liberal Party-led senatorial slate Otso Diretso, with journalists tagged by Mr. Duterte as plotting his ouster, nor with Rodel Jayme, the video sharer presented by the DoJ last Thursday and who was charged on Monday afternoon with inciting to sedition.
Mr. Advincula recalled in his statement his employment with a marketing company in Bicol that he claimed was involved in the drug trade and through which he knew Mr. Go and the younger Mr. Duterte.
“Bahagi po ng gawain ng aming team ay ang pag-scan ng mga codes na nakaukit sa tattoo ng mga senior members ng sindikato tulad nila Paolo Duterte at Bong Go,” he said.
(Part of our work is to scan codes embedded in the tattoos of the senior members of the syndicate like Paolo Duterte at Bong Go).
“Ilang bases din na ako mismo ang nag-scan ng code sa tattoo ni Bong Go, kaya tinitiyak ko po sa inyo na may dragon tattoo siya pati na rin si Paolo Duterte.”
(I myself have scanned the tattoo codes of Bong Go a number of times, which is why I can tell you that he has a dragon tattoo and so does Paolo Duterte).
In a press conference while stumping in Calamba, Laguna, on Monday afternoon, Mr. Go. as he did last month, again bared his back to the media, to show he had no tattoo. ‘Hinahamon ko na lang po ang mga Pilipino. Kung naniniwala po kayo kay Bikoy at sa mga akusasyon n’ya sa pamilyang Duterte at sa akin, iboto n’yo po ang Ocho Diretso, sina Bam Aquino at sila (Magdalo Party-List Rep. and senatorial candidate Gary) Alejano,” Mr. Go also said.
(I challenge the Filipino [voters]. If you believe bikoy and his accusations against the Duterte family and against me, vote Ocho Diretso, the likes of Bam Aquino and Alejano).
In his statement, Mr. Alejano said: “I urge the government to swiftly conduct a thorough investigation on Bikoy’s surfacing because the entirety of this issue merits serious attention from everyone. War on drugs has been the central policy of the administration and it has already claimed thousands of lives. The suggestion to investigate is also in line with Senator Lacson’s response that the Senate will not initiate an inquiry if Bikoy will not identify himself.”
“In the same manner, those who were named in the Bikoy series should be investigated. My challenge for them remains the same: sign bank waivers to prove themselves. Similarly, Mr. Paolo Duterte must also show his back while Mr. Bong Go should undergo a thorough examination under the supervision of tattoo experts and dermatologists.”
For their part, Senate leaders said they will consider investigating Mr. Advincula’s claims. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas, with Charmaine A. Tadalan