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NBI to summon man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Peter Joemel Advincula at a press briefing claiming to be the hooded figure,”Bikoy” in the video series that linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to illegal drug trade.

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to summon a man claiming to be ‘Bikoy’ in the video series entitled “Ang Totoong Narcolist” which linked some members and other personalities close to the Duterte family to the narcotics trade.

NBI cybercrime division chief Vic Lorenzo said on Tuesday they are planning to send a subpoena to the man, who identified himself as Peter Joemel Advincula, after he surfaced on Monday at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

READ: Man claiming to be Bikoy asks help from IBP

“Kung malinaw na kung nasaan siya ngayon para maisyuhan namin siya ng subpoena. Padalhan namin siya ng subpoena para malaman natin ‘yung side niya,” Lorenzo said.

Advincula said at the IBP press conference Monday that he went out of hiding to ask legal aid from the IBP to file charges against presidential son Paolo Duterte, former Special Assistant to the President and Senatorial candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and Lawyer Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

He also said that he wanted to seek assistance following threats against his life.

In a video series uploaded online, Bikoy, the hooded figure in the clips, claimed that he was a former member of a drug syndicate operating in Luzon. He also accused Paolo Duterte of funneling drug money in bank accounts supposedly owned by Carpio’s brother, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Waldo Carpio.

‘Bikoy’ claimed in the video that both Duterte and Go have tattoos on their backs of dragon-like figures and alphanumeric codes of their supposed bank accounts for their dealings with drug syndicates.

On Monday, Advincula also claimed that Go and Duterte have back tattoos, having scanned them personally.

Both Duterte and Go have repeatedly denied the allegations.

Lorenzo said they will summon Advincula for questioning and to shed light on some issues, particularly on his identity and the drug claims he made against the Duterte family members.

“Ang intensyon namin is of course, makausap siya. ‘Yun muna ang dapat naming gawin. Tingnan natin kung ano mga revelations niya. Madami din kaming tanong sa kanya,” he said.

Lorenzo also said that they are now investigating several persons of interest in the ‘Bikoy’ narco videos based on the forensic examination they conducted on the electronic gadgets obtained from Rodel Jayme.

He, however, refused to divulge the identities of these persons as investigation and evidence gathering are ongoing.

READ: Jayme possible as state witness but no assurance yet—NBI

The 27-year-old Jayme previously said he is prepared to help the government in apprehending the individual who asked him to make the website as well as the personalities behind the video.

But the NBI earlier said that although it is possible, there is no assurance if Jayme is qualified to become a state witness.

According to Republic Act 6981 or the Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act, the qualifications to become a state witness are:

(a) the offense in which his testimony will be used is a grave felony as defined under the Revised Penal Code or its equivalent under special laws;(b) there is an absolute necessity for his testimony;
(c) there is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed:
(d) his testimony can be substantially corroborated on its material points;
(e) he does not appear to be most guilty; and
(f) he has not at any time been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

(with details from April Cenedoza)

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New PH law requires free internet, clean restrooms in terminals

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Transport terminals in the country are now required to have clean sanitary facilities and free internet services for passengers after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act 11311.

Duterte signed the law on April 17, a copy of which was released by Malacañang on Wednesday.

The law mandates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and other concerned stakeholders, to ensure that free internet services are provided in land transportation stations and roll-on/roll-off (RORO) terminals.

Terminal owners, operators or administrators are also ordered to have separate restrooms for persons with disabilities, male and female passengers, as well as lactation station for breastfeeding mothers.

The law also states that collecting fees from passengers for the use of regular sanitary facilities is unlawful. A passenger must also show the paid bus ticket for the day in order to avail of the free use of sanitary facilities.

The measure, however, does not cover well-appointed or deluxe sanitary facilities that are operated solely for commercial purposes and for the convenience of passengers who require and prefer such terminal facilities.

Terminal operators and administrators who fail to comply with the law shall be fined with P5,000 for each day of violation; another P5,000 each day for collecting fees from passengers for the use of sanitary facilities.

Another P5,000 fine each day will also be imposed if operators fail to provide and maintain a lactation station in transport terminals.

The fines will be subject for review every five years by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Any necessary adjustments on the amount will be subject to the approval of the DOTr Secretary.

The measure mandates the DOTr, in coordination with the DICT, LTFRB, Department of Health, the Philippine Ports Authority and other stakeholders, to release the implementing rules and regulations within 60 days that the law has become effective.

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Cayetano open to House speakership term-sharing

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – Taguig Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday expressed openness to the idea of sharing the term of the 18th Congress speakership with other contenders for the post.

In a chance interview prior to the economic and legislative agenda meeting of the Duterte administration in Clark, Pampanga, Cayetano said the idea of term sharing was mentioned by President Rodrigo Duterte himself when he met with him, along with other speakership aspirants, in Japan weeks ago.

Cayetano said he is willing to share the speakership with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, but the latter did not favor the proposal.

“Nasabi ko sa ating pangulo na payag nako kahit na I was expecting three years na hati kmi ni Allan Velasco. Ang problema, ayaw pa niya pumayag doon,” he said.

Others gunning for the top House post are Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez, Pampanga Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales and Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez.

Cayetano said the House speakership race is fast becoming tight, with some resorting to offering money in exchange for votes.

“The reality is, may namimigay ng pera sa Congress at hindi lang pera, may kasamang papel na nagsasabing pirmahan niyo ito,” he said.

“Actually now, ang offer ay more than money, may kumausap sa akin na nag-ooffer ng P200-million pero Congressman na project sa party-list,” he added, although he refused to name names.

Cayetano also clarified that the relation between him and Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio remains amicable despite his threat to break up the administration coalition if she would endorse Velasco’s bid to become speaker.

The presidential daughter earlier said she did not express her support for Cayetano’s bid but she would back any one who would support Duterte’s programs.

“There has been some communication pero pabayaan mo muna na ma-sort out naming. Maaari ngang iba ang pagkarinig, iba ang pagkasabi… If she feels that way, I am hurt and sorry if she feels that way but hindi ganun talaga,” he said.

Cayetano and other lawmakers and Cabinet officials met in Clark, Pampanga to discuss the administration’s economic and legislative agenda for the last three years in office of President Duterte. (with details from Grace Casin)

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Panelo: Chinese envoy won’t be summoned over Recto Bank allision

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte greets Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua on the sidelines of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee head Song Tao’s courtesy call on the President at Matina Enclaves in Davao City on March 27, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines – Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua will not be summoned over the allision incident involving Filipino and Chinese fishing vessels in Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

“The president, I think, is not inclined to do that,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“Because ang feeling niya, ginagawa na nila, may statement na si Ambassador about seriously and cautiously studying the facts,” he added.

Panelo’s statement contradicts the earlier remark of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that China’s representative would be invited to the Palace to explain about the matter.

Duterte on Monday described the sinking of a Philippine boat by a Chinese ship as a “little maritime accident.”

‘Wag kayong maniwala sa mga politiko na bobo, gusto papuntahin ‘yung Navy. You do not send gray ships there. Banggaan lang ng barko ‘yan,” the chief executive said in a speech during a Philippine Navy event in Cavite.

The president’s remark disappointed many, including the Filipino fishers.

READ: Filipino boat captain laments Duterte’s remark on West PH Sea allision incident

But Panelo explained, the President was just being cautious about the matter to prevent it from becoming an international crisis, which might affect trade relations between the Philippines and China and other sectors, including the ordinary fishermen visiting disputed territories and the Filipino workers in China.

“He doesn’t want this blown into an international crisis given the fact na matagal din na nabago ‘yung relasyon from the time ng previous administration na masama ang relasyon,” he said.

The Palace official also reiterated that the Philippine government would wait for the investigation to be concluded before taking any action.

Panelo said concerned agencies are already conducting further probe to clear any doubts on whether the incident was accidental or intentional, following the seemingly contradicting statements of some Filipino crew members.

“Kaya medyo nagkaroon ng doubt tuloy, of course, sinasabi ng Kapitan sinadya, sinasabi naman ng cook, mukhang ‘di sila nakita, with more reason na kailangang imbestigahan,” he said.

Panelo also floated the possibility of a joint investigation by the Philippines and China on the incident. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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