The purported creator of the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” video series that linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the narcotics trade surfaced Monday to seek legal aid and to deny any ties to the opposition Liberal Party.
In a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Peter Joemel Advincula said he is “Bikoy” in the online videos.
“I’m Bikoy. I’m a real person and not a figment of the imagination, contrary to what some people are saying,” Advincula said in Filipino.
“I’m here at the office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to ask for legal assistance. I need a lawyer to submit my sworn statement and help me file cases against members of the syndicate,” he added.
The YouTube clips entitled “Totoong Narco-list” claimed drug money was funneled into the bank accounts of Duterte’s son, former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte, his son-in-law Manases Carpio and former aide Christopher “Bong” Go.
They also tagged Duterte’s partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña and their daughter Kitty as having benefitted from drug money.
“Bikoy,” a hooded figure in the videos, claimed that he used to keep financial records for the drug syndicate that allegedly had dealings with the Duterte family.
Advincula came out into the open following the arrest of Rodel Jayme, who admitted to creating a website that hosted the Totoong Narco-list videos. Jayme said two backers of the opposition Liberal Party tapped him to create the website.
Advincula said he used to work as a marketing executive of VitaPlus, a franchise of the First Quadrant multilevel marketing company.
In February 2010, Advincula said his boss, Tess Rañola, transferred him to the narcotics syndicate’s underground facility in Misibis Bay where he worked as a control man of the radio base and CCTV operations.
Later, Advincula said he was later transferred to the transmitting and facilitating team where he worked on the “tara” or monthly allocations of drug money to several personalities. He said it was his job to scan the codes on the dragon tattoos of both Paolo Duterte and Go.
“Part of what we’re doing of our team is to scan the codes that had been engraved into the tattoo of the senior members of the syndicate like Paolo Duterte and Bong Go. Then these were sent to financial controller of the syndicate based in Hong Kong in order to validate these transactions,” Advincula said.
Advincula admitted that in 2012, he was sued for estafa and given a six-year jail sentence in connection with documents he signed when he was working with VitaPlus. However, he was freed in 2016 for good behavior and found a new job.
The purported creator “Ang Totoong Narco-list” said he went into hiding after Bong Go spotted him in his new job during a gathering. He said a colleague told him to leave because his life was in danger.
At the press conference, Advincula denied any links to a political party or the LP-backed Otso Diretso senatorial candidates.
“I have no connection to any candidate, especially the candidates of Otso Diretso, or any political party,” he said.
He also denied knowing Jayme, as well as any media personality or institution recently accused by the Palace of orchestrating a plot to overthrow the government.
“I’m ready to appear before any investigation by the Senate to substantiate all the allegations I made the series of videos that I released, Advincula said.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Advincula should go prove his allegations against members of the first family and other people he implicated in his videos.
“This guy who says that he is ‘Bikoy’ should now go to the NBI and file his complaint, if he has sufficient evidence against members of the first family,” he said in a text message when sought for a reaction.
On Monday, the Justice Department approved the indictment of Jayme.
Inquest prosecutors said they found probable cause to file a case for inciting to sedition under the Revised Penal Code against Jayme, the creator of metrobalita.net, where YouTube links to the videos were reportedly first posted.
The formal charge will be filed before the Parañaque regional trial court today.
If convicted, Jayme could be imprisoned for up to 12 years.
The investigating panel of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera and Associate Prosecution Attorney Mary Grace Arboladura found that Jayme’s creation of the website and his use of
it to circulate videos that insinuated the involvement of the President and his family in the drug trade was used for the purpose of weakening the confidence of the people in government and stir up dissent against it.
The prosecutors also upheld the validity of the arrest of Jayme, saying he was subjected to surveillance by the National Bureau of Investigation.
They said since the videos continue to circulate, the crime is unfolding.
The panel also recommended further investigation by the NBI to identify other unidentified individuals responsible for the actual production and posting of the videos.
At the grand rally of the Nationalist People’s Coalition in Calamba, Laguna, Go denied knowing Advincula or being involved in illegal drugs.
Go even removed his shirt to show he had no dragon tattoo, and invited Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, who was at the same event, to touch his back to verify if he was concealing anything. When Aquino declined to do so, Go approached Senate President Vicente Sotto III to show him his back.
Go said Advincula went to the wrong place when he went to the IBP, saying he should have gone to the mental hospital instead.
Senator Panfilo Lacson assailed the IBP for providing Advincula a forum to air his accusations even though they had not yet evaluated his allegations.
“I hope the IBP will give the same amount of attention and assistance to anybody seeking legal assistance. Otherwise, they might be misunderstood as engaging in political partisanship which could punch a hole and deflate their credibility,” he said.
Rep. Tom Villarin said Monday the man claiming to be Bikoy should be afforded legal support and protection as he files a case against those he implicated.
“These are very serious allegations that should not be dismissed by authorities. If substantiated by evidence, then the full force of the law must be applied,” Villarin said.