VINDICATION

Sara, Pulong, Bong vindicated over ‘Bikoy’ recantation

By NEILWIN JOSEPH BRAVO and the EDGE DAVAO EDITORIAL TEAM

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and the two main subjects of the controversial ‘Bikoy’ video accusations–Presidential son Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and former top aide Christopher “Bong” Go–aired their vindication over the recantation of the video’s alleged source Peter Joemel Advincula.

INVESTIGATE ‘BIKOY’. Presidential son and Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte calls for a proper investigation after Peter Joemel Advincula a.k.a ‘Bikoy’ revealed names of high profile personalities allegedly behind the Bikoy videos including Senators Antonio Trillanes, Risa Hontiveros and several lawyers. Lean Daval Jr

“Bikoy is a scam created by people who oppose the Duterte administration. This group is so disorganized they cannot even get to first base because the path to their objective is in disarray. Kung ako leader ng grupo na ito, I will shoot myself in the head, get rid of the brain that is not useful,” Mayor Duterte-Carpio, whose husband laeywe Manases Carpio was also linked in the controversial video to illegal drugs, said in a statement released on Thursday after Advincula admitted he falsified his earlier statements saying they were “all lies.”

In a complete turnaround of his earlier claims, Advincula said the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” are all lies to bring down President Rodrigo Duterte. He said he surrendered to the authorities as he was bugged by his conscience. 

Advincula, who surfaced on May 6, 2019 and introduced himself as “Bikoy” the hooded figure who linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the narcotics trade in several viral videos, said on Thursday that his allegations were “all lies”. He also revealed that the ‘Bikoy’ tirade was “orchestrated” by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and the Liberal Party.

“Lahat ng nangyari sa Ang Totoong Narco-list, video episode 1 to video episode 5… lahat iyun pawang scripted, lahat iyun pawang kasinungalingan,” Advincula said in a televised press conference at the Philippine National Police. “Walang katotohanan lahat-lahat iyun at iyun ay pawang orchestrated lang ng mga nasa kabilang party, which is Liberal Party under the handling of Senator Sonny Trillanes IV.” 

Congressman-elect Pulong Duterte, accused in the video as a major player in a large scale illegal drugs syndicate in the country, also issued a statement saying: “From the very start, it was clear that the Bikoy videos were fabricated with a narrative taken straight from the playbook of people whose desire is to destroy our name and our reputation.”

“All the lies presented were also meant to crush the trust of the Filipino people in the authorities and inspire public disgust against the government — truly the handiwork of people who want to undermine the Duterte administration,” Duterte, who had been hurled with challenges to show his tattooed back which allegedly bears the code used by the syndicate, said. “Without a doubt, as I have said before, Senator Antonio Trillanes was behind it. And now that many names have also surfaced, to include Sen. Risa Hontiveros and several lawyers, I believe a proper investigation is in order.”

BONG GO NOT SURPRISED BUT ADMITTED HE WAS HURT

Senator-elect Go, the former Special Assistant to the President who had shown his ink-free back on two occasions to dispel the accusations, said he was not surprised of Advincula’s recantation.

“Hindi ko ikinagulat ang pagbaliktad ni Bikoy sa isang press conference ngayong umaga dahil alam ko sa simula pa lang na pawang kasinungalingan ang lahat ng sinabi niya laban sa kay Pangulong Duterte, sa kanyang pamilya at sa akin,” Go said. “Ginawa na nila itong maruming black propaganda noong nakaraang 2016 elections laban kay Mayor Duterte at ginawa nila ulit ito ngayong katatapos lang na halalan. Lahat nag backfire. Naging Pangulo si Mayor Duterte noong 2016 at inilampaso ng taumbayan ang Otso Diretso ngayong 2019.”

Go also took a swing at the opposition Liberal Party. 

“Nakakalungkot nga lang malaman na kung sino pa yung mga sinasabing “disente” na nagmamalinis sa ating lipunan ay sila pa ang may pakana ng maruruming paninira sa kapwa tao. Hindi ito ang uri ng pamumulitika na natutunan ko kay Pangulong Duterte. Hindi ito ang uri ng pamumulitika ng isang simpleng probinsyanong gaya ko na walang ibang hangad kundi pagserbisyuhan ang kapwa ko Pilipino.”

The third-ranked Senator-elect in the May 13 polls, nevertheless, admitted he was also hurt by the accusations. “Masakit ang ginawa ni Bikoy sa akin. Sa kanyang mga kasinungalingan at paninira sa akin, pinapatawad ko si Bikoy bilang isang Kristiyano. Subalit, bilang isang Pilipino, hahayaan ko ang ating mga otoridad na gawin ang kanilang katungkulan sa anumang pananagutan niya sa batas,” Go said. “While I urge our authorities to respect all the constitutional rights of Bikoy, I must also say that the country needs to know the whole truth. After all, the truth will set us free. May panahon din ito. Naniniwala ako na bilog naman ang mundo.”

MEETING HONTIVEROS, TRILLANES

Advincula said the allegations of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, which tagged the Dutertes and senator-elect Bong Go to the narcotics trade, were all false. He claimed that he met Sen. Risa Hontivers and Trillanes several times. He also linked members of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate for the videos, except former Interior and Local Government chief Mar Roxas.

Advincula said that he even saw Vice President Leni Robredo in one of the meetings held at Ateneo de Manila University, but the vice president only passed by and did not join the meeting.

The Liberal Party has denied the accusations of Advincula.

PROJECT SODOMA

In his latest revelations, Advincula claimed the plan dubbed “Project Sodoma was aimed to oust Duterte and put in power Vice President Leni Robredo, chairperson of LP, before June 30, 2019.  He said he met Trillanes through a priest. He also named two other opposition senators to the alleged plot to discredit the administration. 

In exchange for appearing in the viral videos, Advincula claimed he was promised money, a government post and absolute pardon. For the demolition job, Advincula said he said he was promised 500,000 pesos to appear in the videos, but the money did not come through.

But after the May 13 elections, Advincula said Trillanes allegedly stopped contacting him after opposition candidates failed to win a Senate seat. 

“Hindi ko po kayang panindigan iyung mga scripted lang na kuwento na ngayong talo na ang mga kandidato nila, nararamdaman ko na unti-unti na akong nilalaglag at kinatatakutan kong baka sila pa ang mag-eliminate sa akin kinalaunan dahil wala na akong silbi,” he said. 

Trillanes’ ally, outgoing Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, said he will consult other Otso Diretso candidates on possible charges against Advincula for his allegations. 

Advincula voluntarily turned himself in to the Northern Police District on Wednesday and was turned over to the Philippine National Police headquarters at Camp Crame. PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde denied police coached Advincula in retracting his earlier claims.