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Sotto: Man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ tagged past admin's execs to drugs

Sotto: Man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ tagged past admin's execs to drugs
MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 12:29 p.m.) — The man who claims to be “Bikoy”—the individual in videos linking the Dutertes to illegal drug trade—was the same person who tagged President Benigno Aquino III and other former government officials to illegal drug activities in 2016.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III made the statement in a press briefing Wednesday, a new development that puts the credibility of Peter Joemel Advincula—the man who identified himself as “Bikoy”—in question.

Sotto pointed out the similarities, as well as the inconsistencies of the claims of “Bikoy” in the video series and Advincula’s statement at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Monday to his sworn statement in 2016.

The lawmaker said Advincula—while detained at the New Bilibid Prison—was the same person who reached out to his office in 2016, accusing that Aquino, former Interior secretary Mar Roxas and former Justice secretary Leila de Lima were linked to an alleged drug syndicate called “Quadrangle.”

Advincula had claimed Aquino, Roxas and De Lima were among the “patrons” of the drug ring.


In 2016, Advincula claimed syndicate members used alphanumeric “identity codes” for monthly pay-offs amounting to P230 million, which was supposedly deposited through a bank.

But the bank denied the codes for its account follow the format given by Advincula, Sotto said. This prompted Advincula to change his statement—that the money was coursed through another bank.

“I did due diligence. Nung 2016, 'di ko pinatulan ‘to. Medyo iniba lang ang script. Iniba lang ang personalidad,” Sotto said.

He added later in the briefing: “Incredible ‘yung mga kwento. I can’t imagine President Aquino going to that underground safehouse in Misibis with Sec. Roxas and De Lima in exchanging money, exchanging shabu.”

2019 elections
“Bikoy”—in a series of videos—alleged that the chief executive’s son, former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, his son-in-law lawyer Maneses Carpio and former aide Christopher Bong Go have ties to the illegal drug trade, an accusation they denied.

Advincula said one of his duties in an alleged syndicates was to scan codes embedded in the tattoos of senior members such as Go and Paolo Duterte.

Following Advincula’s Monday appearance, Go bared his back anew, while the younger Duterte challenged the man behind the videos to file cases.

“Perhaps it has something to do with the 2019 elections. Baka siguro gustong gasgasin ‘yung image ng administration gaya ng ginawa niya na panggagasgas sa administration noon,” Sotto said.

‘Lesson’ for IBP, religious sector
Sotto said the IBP and religious groups should learn from this incident.

“This is a very good lesson for IBP and religious groups, bago niyo patulan ang mga bagay na naninira ng kapwa. Imbestigahan niyo muna. Vet it first,” he said.

IBP also on Wednesday said it has rejected the request of Advincula for free legal assistance “after a thorough evaluation” of his application.

“The [IBP National Center for Legal Aid] has determined that Mr. Advincula may not be provided free legal assistance based on the standards provided for in the NCLA Manual of

Operations in approving such requests. However, communications and documents submitted during consultation shall remain privileged and confidential,” IBP said.

Canceled ‘Bikoy’ hearing
After the Sotto’s revelation, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said his panel will no longer investigate Advincula’s claims.

“Senate President Sotto said it all. We are now recalling the letter of invitation sent to Advincula yesterday. Notices will be sent out for the cancellation of the committee hearing on Friday. Enough of this nonsense,” the chair of the public order and dangerous drugs panel said in a tweet.

Lacson earlier said his panel could schedule a hearing should Advincula present a sworn statement and evidence to support his accusations.

Malacañang on Tuesday questioned the credibility of Advincula as it brought up his criminal background.

Advincula was jailed for conviction of illegal recruitment, large scale estafa as well as for theft.

“These crimes involve moral turpitude that goes to the very integrity and credibility of Advincula or Bikoy,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

Sotto: Man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ tagged past admin's execs to drugs Sotto: Man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ tagged past admin's execs to drugs Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 1:22:00 AM Rating: 5

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