A prominent Law School dean and former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Davao Chapter believes the man who claimed to be the hooded figure named ‘Bikoy’ in the controversial Youtube video “Totoong Narco-List” is a “perjured witness.”
Lawyer Ramon Edison Batacan, dean of the Rizal Memorial Colleges School of Law in Davao City who was also IBP governor for Eastern Mindanao, told Edge Davao on Tuesday that the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) should not be dragged into the falsity peddled by Peter Joemel Advincula who introduced himself as “Bikoy” during a press conference at the IBP headquarters in Pasig City on Monday.
“Bikoy is a perjured witness and the IBP should not commit the mistake of taking the cudgels for him, for obvious reasons,” Batacan, who headed the IBP local capter in 2001-2003, said.
The veteran lawyer, senior managing partner of the BMV Law Firm, said: “Bikoy is a political propaganda being reportedly peddled by the opposition.”
YouTube clips titled “Totoong Narco-list” claimed drug money was funnelled into the bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte’s son Paolo, son-in-law Atty. Manases Carpio, and former aide Christopher Go.
In the same press conference, Advincula asked free legal assistance from the IBP. He said he needed a lawyer to submit his sworn statement and help him file cases against members of the syndicate. He surfaced days after the arrest of Rodel Jayme, who admitted to creating a website that hosted the Totoong Narco-list videos.
On Tuesday, the IBP Davao Chapter issued a disclaimer on ‘Bikoy’ saying that “the IBP Davao City Chapter, is neither privy to Bikoy’s show nor supportive of the same. It does not reflect the sentiment of the membership of the Chapter as an organization.”
The IBP Davao statement stressed that while it respects the IBP National in representing its membership on some national issues, “Bikoy does not deserve the Chapter’s support since the IBP is a non-partisan organization not established to cater to political interests.”
Batacan supported the statement, adding: “I stand by the statement of the IBP Davao City Chapter whose membership has nothing to do with the Bikoy drama.”
IBP Davao maintains that the ‘Bikoy’ drama “reeks of political agenda, and the sole decision of the present leadership of the IBP National.”
The IBP Davao Chapter statement, which circulated online Tuesday morning, was made jointly by its officers and board of directors. The chapter is headed by current president lawyer Eleanor dela Pena.
“The fundamental purposes of the Integrated bar shall be to elevate the standards of the legal profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility more effectively. Certainly, the decision of the present leadership of the IBP National is not in accord with the said purposes. For one, Bikoy’s storyline is polluted and it’s source comes from the very mouth of an alleged suborner himself,” the statement further read.
The chapter insisted that it “does not and will not tolerate any statements from the present leadership of the IBP National that will result in politicizing the organization.”