IBP: ‘Bikoy’ not under our custody

Robie de Guzman   •   May 7, 2019   •   2059

MANILA, Philippines – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Tuesday belied rumors that Peter Joemel Advincula, the man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ in the video series called “Ang Totoong Narco List,” is under their custody following his press conference at its headquarters in Ortigas.

On Monday, Advincula went to IBP to seek legal assistance to file charges against presidential son Paolo Duterte; Lawyer Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte; and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former aide of President Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: Man claiming to be Bikoy asks help from IBP

He claimed he was the hooded figure in the video series implicating some members of the Duterte family and their close allies to the narcotics trade.

“We would like to dispel rumors that Mr. Peter Joemel Advincula is in the custody and care of the IBP. The IBP leadership is unaware of his current whereabouts,” the IBP said in a statement released late Tuesday.

The IBP issued the statement following speculations that Advincula is under its care.

It also maintained that it did not organize Advincula’s press briefing, and it has nothing to do with the statement that he read before the media.

“The presence of media outfits was not upon the invitation nor direction of the IBP, ” it said.

“IBP did not craft Mr. Advincula’s statement, and/or sworn statement,” it added.

The IBP also reiterated that Advincula was received at their office on Monday like any other applicant seeking legal assistance from its National Center for Legal Aid.

“Right now, his application for legal aid is still under the evaluation by the NCLA,” the group said.

The IBP reiterated it continues to the sentinel of the rule of law in the country, which has a “mandate to maintain independence and credibility as the umbrella organization of all lawyers in the Philippines.”

In response to Advincula’s appearance at the IBP and drug allegations against the Duterte family and their close allies, Senator Panfilo Lacson said his committee has invited the former to attend its hearing on Friday.

Lacson said the formal invitation to Advincula will be sent out through the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) since it was the last place where he was seen.

READ: Senate to probe ‘Bikoy’ claims this week

Malacañang, meanwhile, expressed doubt on Advincula’s credibility, noting that he is currently facing multiple criminal cases.

READ: NBI to summon man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’

The National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police earlier said they will summon Advincula to answer questions pertaining to his identity and his allegations against the Dutertes.

Duterte names former House Speaker Belmonte special envoy to Japan

Robie de Guzman   •   October 16, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte (L) raises the hand of former House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte in an undated photo that was released on May 10, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has named former House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte as Special Envoy to Japan.

Based on a document from Malacañang released on Wednesday, Belmonte was appointed as special envoy to Japan for trade and market access.

Belmonte was appointed by Duterte on Oct. 15, Tuesday.

He served as Representative of the 4th District of Quezon City for three terms, and was elected as House speaker of the 15th and 16th Congress during the time of former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, respectively.

Belmonte was Liberal Party’s former vice chairman before he resigned in September last year. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Albayalde on Lacadin’s allegations: He will have his day in court

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 10, 2019

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General, Oscar Albayalde, gestures as he testifies during a Senate investigation in Pasay City, Philippines, 01 October 2019. EPA-EFE/STR

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde has denied claims made by Retired General Rudy Lacadin that he benefited from the controversial drug raid operation in Pampanga in 2013.

During the Senate hearing on Wednesday (October 9), Lacadin revealed that Albayalde called him to admit that he personally gained from the 2013 operation.

“Sabi niya [Albayalde] — I don’t know if he [Albayalde] was joking — ‘Actually, sir, konti lang naman napunta sa akin diyan’,” according to Lacadin.

However, Albayalde denied Lacadin’s claim and reiterated that Lacadin was “never a friend”.

“Lacadin has a lot of explaining to do and he will have his day in court,” he said.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

PNP denies rumors of Albayalde’s resignation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 10, 2019

PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has denied rumors that PNP Chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde has resigned from his post amid the ‘ninja cops’ controversy.

In a statement, PNP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac dispels the resignation rumor circulating in social media.

He also reiterated Albayalde’s previous statement that the PNP Chief will leave his fate to the decision of the President and that he is ready to turn-over his post to anyone selected by the President to lead the PNP.

Albayalde has also questioned the timing of the attacks against him, citing his alleged involvement in the anomaly during the drug raid in Pampanga in 2013.

He said that all the statements remain as allegations, insinuations, and unsubstantiated.

“Until now, despite the Senate hearings conducted, no hard evidence was ever presented showing that I was involved in that drug raid in Pampanga in 2013,” he said.

READ: Retired Gen. Lacadin: Albayalde benefitted from 2013 Pampanga drug raid

The PNP Chief also belied the statement of retired general Rudy Lacadin, who was then the deputy of General Magalong in CIDG.

Lacadin revealed that Albayalde admitted to him that he personally gained from the 2013 drug raid.

However, Albayalde vehemently denied calling then Colonel Lacadin about the investigation into the Pampanga drug raid.

“All those police officials ganging up on me have ill motives against me and obviously all worked with the previous administration,” Albayalde added.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

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