THE METROPOLITAN Trial Court has ordered the arrest of the man allegedly behind the series of videos linking President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade after failing to appear in court for the arraignment and preliminary conference on his case.   

The court, in an order released on Wednesday, also forfeited the cash bail posted by Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula for his failure to attend the hearing despite notice and upon motions of both the private and public prosecutors.  

Mr. Advincula is facing a perjury case filed by lawyers Jose Manuel I. Diokno, Theodore O. Te, and Lorenzo R. Tañada III for his alleged false claim that the three lawyers were involved in the supposed plot to oust Mr. Duterte through the videos posted online in May 2019.   

The three lawyers denied their involvement saying that they did not meet with Mr. Advincula in March 2019, contrary to the latter’s claim.   

The three were present at the hearing with Mr. Advincula’s lawyer, Doroteo Miguel S. Carrillo, who said in open court that he is from the law firm of Lorenzo G. Gadon.   

The arraignment for Mr. Advincula’s case was reset to Aug. 26.  

Mr. Advincula also has an estafa case pending at the Department of Justice for alleged deception of organizers of a beauty pageant in Polangui, Albay in 2018. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago