By Neil J Servallos/ Manila Times
Ouster plot claims by Peter Joemel Advincula, the self-confessed “Bikoy” who has taken back his claim that President Rodrigo Duterte’s family had accepted drug money, should not be believed until backed up by evidence, a Cabinet official said yesterday.
“Let us not be hasty in giving credence to what he is saying.
From what I heard and read, he has been lying at every turn,” Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told reporters.
Advincula, who came out earlier this month to insist that the Dutertes had received payoffs from drug syndicates, went into hiding after failing in a bid to secure legal aid from a lawyers’ organisation.
He resurfaced on Thursday and said the scheme had been masterminded by the opposition in a plot to unseat the government.
“His motive? Of course, to save himself!” Lorenzana said, adding that the retraction should be substantiated.
Advincula’s lying, Sen.Panfilo Lacson also said yesterday, was a “unique talent.”
“He can divide the world with the flip of his tongue,” the senator said on Twitter.
“From IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) to the PNP (Philippine National Police), he completed a successful Yellow (the opposition) vs DDS (Diehard Duterte Supporters) dry run. With his flip-flopping lies, he’s on a roll,” Lacson added.
The IBP let Advincula use its headquarters to make his accusations against the Dutertes earlier this month.
It was the PNP’s turn on Thursday, as officials allowed him to make a public recantation a few hours after surrendering to answer estafa charges.
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde, who has denied that the police had flip-flopped after earlier discrediting drug money claims made by Bikoy in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, said Advincula was taken to a hospital yesterday after complaining of chest pains.
“His blood pressure shot up and said he felt nauseous, so we sent him to the hospital,” he told a press briefing.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, who Advincula now says was the mastermind behind the “Ang Totoong Narcolist,” accused the president of again trying to take down a vocal critic.
“There you go again. You haven’t yet redeemed yourself from embarrassment when you invented my having offshore bank accounts and the allegation against my mother, and now you have another accusation against me,” he said in a text message.
“This time your source is Bikoy. You’re such a genius, Duterte,” he added.
Sen. Leila de Lima, another Duterte critic who has been jailed on drug-related charges, also denied Advincula’s claims that she was part of an ouster plot.
“Let me start by stating, categorically, that like me, none of my staff has anything to do with the so-called Bikoy
expose.None of us know Bikoy or has ever met or talked to him, or otherwise dealt with him,” said de Lima in a statement.
“When I first started hearing about the Bikoy expose, the foremost question in my mind was — Is Bikoy for real, or is he a fraud? Worse, is he being used in some ploy that would eventually lead to the vilification of the opposition?” she added.
An investigation, de Lima said, should ferret out the truth. In the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, a hooded man named Bikoy claims to have facilitated drug syndicate payoffs to Duterte’s son former Davao City vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, son-in-law Manases “Mans” Carpio, and former special assistant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, among others.
Advincula now claims that Trillanes — a Nationalista Party senator — and the opposition Liberal Party led by Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo cooked up the scheme in a bid to discredit Duterte and force him from office.
Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo, in response to Trillanes, said the senator should answer the ouster allegation instead of again criticising Duterte.
“Despite the repudiation of his oft-repeated prediction that the president would lose his popularity … Trillanes continues to spew his poisonous invectives against the chief executive, who remains standing as the nation’s most beloved and trusted leader,” Panelo said in a statement.
“The outgoing Senator should first address the serious allegation pointing to him as the mastermind and in conspiracy with certain political leaders identified with the opposition of the unlawful plot to topple the Duterte Administration,” he added.
“While many will wish Trillanes good riddance as he is about to leave the hallowed halls of the Senate at the end of June of this year, we will instead wish him luck as he faces another prospect of being placed behind bars again as the self-confessed black propagandist turns against his master, even as his victims look forward to seeing the Senate, or better yet the Government, without the cantankerously obnoxious coup plotter.”
As an Army lieutenant, Trillanes was one of leaders of the failed 2003 Oakwood mutiny against then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
He was jailed for his role and the mutiny but successfully ran for the Senate while in prison, finally gaining an amnesty in 2010.
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