‘Bikoy’ posts bail

FREE AGAIN Peter Joemel Advicula leaves Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police. PHOTO BY ROGER RAÑADA

Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claimed to be “Bikoy” in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, regained his freedom on Saturday after posting P24,000 bail for estafa and large-scale illegal recruitment charges.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) allowed Advincula to leave Camp Crame yesterday afternoon.

PNP Spokesman Col. Bernard Banac said Advincula posted bail of P6,000 for an estafa case on Friday and P18,000 for large-scale illegal recruitment on Thursday.

He remained in police custody until he was discharged from the PNP General Hospital on Saturday morning. Advincula was taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pains caused by high blood pressure.

Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Metro Manila, said Advincula and his family left the PNP headquarters at 1:20 p.m.
Ibay said Advincula was expected to submit an affidavit and pieces of evidence to the CIDG.

Advincula surrendered to the police on Wednesday. In a news briefing on Thursday, he said the allegations he made in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos that went viral were orchestrated by the Liberal Party and key opposition figures. In the videos, “Bikoy” claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte’s son, former Davao City vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, son-in-law Manases “Mans” Carpio and former presidential aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, among others, were involved in the illegal drug trade.

“If the public will still believe me after this, all that happened in the ‘Ang Totoong Narcolist,’ all that I recorded, all those were scripted, lies because the opposition camp wanted to divert the issue, the attention of the public from the high [approval] ratings of the administration,” Advincula said in Filipino.

He added that Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th supervised the production of the videos. The Liberal Party and Trillanes have all denied these claims.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Saturday said “Bikoy” was a decoy.

“Remember in the past ang dami nang mga ganitong klaseng mga personalities na nililihis lang ang real issues. Sabi ko nga, decoy lang ito e (There have been personalities like these in the past who tried to divert attention from the real issues. Bikoy is a decoy),” Zarate said in a forum in Quezon City.

“So we have to be wary of these people. Gagamitin sila, and sino ang talo niyan? Tayo (They will be used and who loses? Us,)” he added.

In the same forum, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said it was not true that Advincula met all of the senatorial candidates of the opposition Otso Diretso.

“Katawa-tawa naman itong si Bikoy, ano? Sabihin ko sa inyo, hindi totoo iyan. Sabi nga nila mag-investigate sila. Kahit mag-investigate sila, willing kaming magkaroon ng investigation. Imbestigahan lahat, siya pati ‘yung allegation niya,” (Bikoy is laughable, isn’t he? I’ll tell you, that’s not true. They said that they will investigate. Investigate everything, him and his allegations,)” Alejano, who ran for senator under Otso Diretso’s slate, said.

He said Otso Diretso was considering filing charges against Advincula.

“Ang legal action is one of our options pero tinitignan natin na it will just keep us busy, precisely the objective of Bikoy na parang i-isolate ka niya, i-divert ‘yung issue. Kaya magiging useless lang.

Pero kasama iyan sa pinag-uusapan, kasi puro kasinungalingan naman ‘yung sinasabi niya,” (Legal action is one of our options but we are also considering that it will just keep us busy, precisely the objective of Bikoy: to isolate you, divert the issue. So it will just be useless. But that is part of discussions, because his claims are all lies),” Alejano said.

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo had denied Advincula’s claim that she was part of a plot to oust President Duterte, saying she “will never be part of any destabilization.”

Con artist

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian described Advincula as a con artist who sought media exposure.

Gatchalian backed the position of Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd that the chamber would only investigate Advincula’s allegations if he presented evidence. (TMT)