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Bikoy was not FLAG’s client—Diokno, Te

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Atty. Chel Diokno and former Supreme Court Spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te has denied that Peter Joemel Advincula alias ‘Bikoy’ is a client of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).

This was after Bikoy told the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the said lawyers met with him and offered to be his lawyers.

However, both Diokno and Te denied such claims.

“He was/is not a FLAG client, he was interviewed as we do with all clients and we did not take the case. None of us had seen him before the interview. Nothing more to be said,” Te said in a text message.

According to Diokno, the case was submitted to FLAG but the organization refused to take the case.

“Ang FLAG ay hindi abogado ni “Bikoy.” Inilapit sa FLAG ang kaso, pero tumanggi ang FLAG, kaya ang naging sagot namin ay sa IBP na lang siya lumapit. Karaniwan namang ginagawa ito ng mga abogado pag tumanggi silang tanggapin ang isang kaso, (“Bikoy” is not a client of FLAG. The case was submitted to FLAG but FLAG refused. Our answer was for him to go to the IBP [Integrated Bar of the Philippines], it is usually done by lawyers if they refused to take the case)” he said in a statement.

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Sotto reveals similarities in Bikoy’s claims in 2016, 2019

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Senate President Vicente Sotto III revealed on Wednesday that Patrick Joemel Advincula had gone to his office in 2016 to give information against Former President Benigno Aquino III and his then cabinet members.

Sotto presented a matrix of Advincula’s separate sworn statements when he went to his office in 2016 and when he went to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on May 6.

Based on his statement in 2016, Advincula implicated Aquino and several cabinet members in illegal drugs trade.

“Doon sa mga patron na sinasabi niya, makikita ninyo listahan na may mga code, code pa sýa [The patrons he was referring to, you would see a list that has codes]. In the list, Elizalde Co, former President Benigno Aquino, former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, former DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima, Teresita Raniola, Congressman Fernando Gonzales, Congressman Luis Villafuerte at [and] Thomas Enrile.  Ito ‘yung mga patron ng Quadrangle Syndicate [These are the patrons of Quadrangle Syndicate],” Sotto said.

According to the Senate president, several names mentioned in Advincula’s statement in 2016 were also mentioned in his statement at the IBP.

Sotto, however, added that this time, it was former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, Attorney Manases Carpio and former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go whom Advincula was prominently implicating to the narcotics trade.

Sotto also said that back in 2016, his office even checked the bank account that Advincula claimed was where the syndicate deposited drug money, which the bank then vehemently denied.

The senator added that Advincula changed his statement when his staff questioned him about the bank’s denial of the account.

“Ang kwento niya, pasensya na, Sir, naglihim ako sa  inyo at natatakot na rin ako sa seguridad ko. Di ko sa iyo sinabi noong una ang tunay na strategies nila sa pagdeposit ng pera sa China. Malinis ang sindikato dito. Ang lahat ng deposit account nila ay QNBC,” according to Hutch Altavas, Senator Sotto’s political assistant.

The senator added, “yung QNBC, yung dinescribe niya, pinatanong namin. Ang sabi Quill Net Banking Corporations ng HSBC. Tinanong ko rin yung sa HSBC yun, sabi niya theres no such thing.”

Sotto said this was why his office did not take Advincula’s claim seriously.

The senator even said that Alias Bikoy’s latest claim has now, for him, become dubious as he just changed some details from his 2016 story.

“So perhaps the best thing again to learn from this lesson, perhaps a good lesson to IBP and religious sector na huwag basta basta ika nga e patol nang patol sa mga ito,” the Senate President said. – Maris Federez

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Bikoy’s appearance may not guarantee a Senate hearing just yet – Lacson

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Peter Joemel Advincula, claiming to be “Bikoy” faces the members of the media
on May 6 at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday (May 6) said that there is no need yet for a Senate hearing even with the surfacing of the controversial man in the viral narco-videos calling himself “Bikoy”.

Lacson, Senate Committee Chair on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said Bikoy still needs to back his claims with strong evidence, especially so when he is linking no less than the family of President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drugs trade.

“As far as the Senate, we will await his sworn statement and whatever supporting evidence he has, after which we will evaluate and proceed from there. If it merits a Senate inquiry, we definitely will conduct one to hear him and more, if any,” Senator Lacson said in a statement following Peter Joemel Advincula a.k.a. Bikoy’s press briefing at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Advincula claimed he went to the IBP to seek legal assistance.

READ: Man claiming to be Bikoy asks help from IBP

The IBP said it has yet to evaluate alias Bikoy’s claim which led Lacson to be skeptical of the IBP’s position as it has already lent its facilities to Advincula so that he could hold a press briefing.

“First, I certainly hope the Integrated Bar of the Philippines 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,” the senator said.

 “By their admission, they haven’t evaluated Bikoy’s accusations, yet they provided him their facility and a forum to air his accusations,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its statement said the appearance of Advincula is an “opportunity to substantiate his serious accusations and convince the Filipino people that he is worth listening to.”

“If at all the person who surfaced today is the authentic “Bikoy” who is the subject of an ongoing investigation, good for him because he just spared himself the trouble of having to hide behind the cloak of anonymity any further,” the PNP statement read.

 “Otherwise, he is just wasting our time with his fantastic tale. At any rate, he still has a lot of explaining to do for his actions and the real motive behind it,” it added.

The PNP vows to continue its investigation and validate the identity of Advincula based on strong evidence. – Marje Pelayo

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Robredo, Aquino, Ressa allege human rights violation reincarnation under Duterte administration

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

(L-R) Vice President Leni Robredo, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, former President Benigno Aquino III

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo expressed disappointment over what she claimed as the mounting culture of impunity under the Duterte Administration.

This, after the Vice President learned that one of the awardees of the Ka Pepe Human Rights Awards, Bishop Pablo David, was not able to attend the said event because of death threats that he has been receiving.

Rappler Chief Executive Offcier, Maria Ressa, also one of the awardees, said the present administration has been using social media to silence its critics, may they be individuals or groups.

Ressa said, “the campaign pages of Duterte are connected with the campaign pages of Marcos this is the disinformation ecosystem when things go viral, that group refuses to share traditional media, the facts because they are actively creating an alternative information ecosystem where lies are the truth.”

Meanwhile, former president, Benigno Aquino III said the harassment that happened under the Marcos regime are now being replicated by the present administration.

He further claimed that “yung lumang ala-ala ng kadiliman ng Batas Militar, ngayon pinatitingkad nang husto [the dark memories of Martial Law are now intensified].”

Atty. Chel Diokno, son of Ka Pepe Diokno for whom the award was named after, pointed to President Rodrigo Duterte as the one behind the threats against Catholic priests. The President, however, denied the allegation. —Maris Federez (with reports from Grace Casin)

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