Man claiming to be Bikoy surfaces, eyes suit vs drug syndicate

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 6) — A man claiming to be the anonymous man named “Bikoy” in the five-part video series accusing President Rodrigo Duterte, his family and his close allies to be deep into the illegal drug trade has surfaced.

Peter Joemel Advincula, who said he was once a part of an illegal drugs syndicate, said he decided to come out due to threats to his life and because of the urgings of his conscience.

“Nakikita ko ang pagwasak ng pamilya na dulot ng droga, na kung saan naging bahagi ako sa pagpapakalat nito noong miyembro pa ako ng sindikato. Panahon na upang puksain ang pamamayagpag ng sindikatong ito,” Advincula said at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office.

[Translation: I see the destruction of families due to drugs, of which I was once a part as a member of the syndicate. It is time to end the reign of this syndicate.]

Advincula surfaced days following the arrest of Rodel Jayme, the self-confessed webmaster of Metrobalita — the website where the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos were supposedly first shared.

But Advincula said that he does not know Jayme. He also denied that he is linked to any political candidate, especially of the opposition coalition Otso Diretso.

He also said that he does not have any links to the media personalities and institutions tagged in the alleged plot to oust Duterte.

Jayme has said that he was initially tapped to create the Metrobalita website to boost the campaign of an Otso Diretso Senate bet. Otso Diretso campaign manager Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan denied knowledge of this.

Advincula said he went to the IBP to seek legal assistance for him to sue alleged members of the syndicate, that include the President’s son, former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, senatorial candidate and former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s husband Manases Carpio, and the Bicol-based “Quadrangle Group.”

Paolo, Go and Carpio are allegedly on a document he helped prepare as a syndicate member — the Tara, a list of senior syndicate members entitled to monthly kickbacks fromn the illegal drug trade.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Advincula should head to the National Bureau of Investigation and file a complaint if he has enough evidence.

Advincula also insisted on his claim that the former vice mayor and Go have tattoos on their backs.

“Bahagi po ng gawain ng aming team ay ang pag-scan ng mga codes na nakaukit sa tattoo ng mga senior members ng sindikato tulad nina Paolo Duterte at Bong Go. Pinapadala ito sa financial controller ng sindikato na naka-base sa Hong Kong upang ma-validate ang mga transaksyon,” Advincula said.

[Translation: Part of the work of our team is to scan codes embedded in the tattoos of senior syndicate members like Paolo Duterte and Bong Go. These are sent to the syndicate’s financial controller based in Hong Kong to validate transactions.]

Go has bared his back to show that he has no tattoos. Paolo has refused to do the same.

Advincula said he was jailed for six years in 2012 in connection with an estafa charge. He said that after spending time in prison, he decided to turn over a new leaf and work legally.

“Ngunit sa kasamaang palad, sa isang pagtitipon ng aming kumpanya ay naging panauhin si Bong Go. Namukhaan niya ako. Simula noon ay ginigipit na ako ng may-ari ng kumpanya, hanggang sa isang araw ay sinabihan ako ng katrabaho ko na mabuti pang umalis na ako dahil nanganganib na ang buhay ko,” he said.

[Translation: Unfortunately, Bong Go was a guest in one company function. He recognized me. From that time on, the company’s owner harassed me, until one day my coworker told me that I would be better off if I left because my life is in danger.]

Advincula said he went into hiding in August 2018. But he eventually decided to reveal the workings of the syndicate with the help of his fellow former syndicate members.

He said he is ready to face a Senate probe to prove everything that he said in the videos.

Marketing executive-turned-syndicate member

Advincula said he was once a Marketing Executive for a franchise of a multilevel marketing company headed by Tess Rañola.

Rañola supposedly transferred him in February 2010 to the syndicate’s operations center manning the radio and CCTV for underground facilities in Misibis Bay. Advincula said he was then transferred to the transmitting and facilitating team, which prepares the monthly allocations of the syndicate’s principals.

Rañola is the woman who filed a complaint before the National Bureau of Investigation. Her complaint was among the triggers leading to the arrest of Jayme.

This was the only background that he provided about himself. Reporters at the IBP office in Mandaluyong were unable to ask any more questions as he immediately stood up and left after reading his two-page statement.

IBP officials present at the event said they had no idea that Advincula would hold a press conference.

They also said that Advincula came to the office flanked by nuns and sought for legal assistance. They said the National Committee on Legal Aid (NCLA) will evaluate Advincula’s appeal.

"Evaluate po kung ano ang kanyang sinabi and kung ano ang mga ebidensyang pinanghahawakan niya. Base po doon ay gagawa po ng tamang karapatang legal na aksyon," NCLA head Minerva Ambrosio said.

[Translation: We will evaluate what he said and if he is holding evidence. Based on that, we will take the appropriate legal action.]

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will continue its probe on the people behind the Bikoy videos and will validate if Advincula is the same hooded figure in the clips.

"We do not take his claim at surface level. We will ascertain his identity based on evidence, and if he is willing, he may come over either to the NBI or the PNP," PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo maintained that the Bikoy videos are “black propaganda against the government.”

“His (Advincula) claim that there was a tattoo at the back of Bong Go was proven to be false. You lie in one, you lie in all,” Panelo said.

Duterte has denied the allegations in the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos. He also said that he has received foreign intelligence about the people behind these.

The videos are now at the center of an alleged plot to unseat Duterte supposedly involving journalists and lawyers. The people tagged in the supposed ouster plot have denied any involvement.

The Justice department said there is no ongoing probe on the alleged move to kick Duterte out of office.

CNN Philippines Correspondents Xianne Arcanghel, Anjo Alimario and Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.