By Jeffrey Damicog
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested a man who has helped propagate the so-called “Bikoy” videos which accused the family and an associate of President Rodrigo Duterte as being involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra Thursday identified the arrested person as Rodel Jayme who described himself on his Twitter account as a blogger, gamer and amateur radio operator.
Guevarra said that Jayme could be charged with inciting to sedition and cyber libel, among others.
In the meantime, Guevarra said Jayme remains in the custody of the NBI and will be subjected to inquest proceedings before the National Prosecution Service (NPS) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“I will leave the determination of probable cause to the sound judgment of the inquest prosecutor,” Guevarra said during a press briefing Thursday.
For his part, NBI-CCD Chief Victor Lorenzo said they are now preparing the criminal complaint that will be filed against Jayme.
“We have already communicated with our legal and evaluation for the proper charge that will be filed against Rodel Jayme,” he said.
On the other hand, Lorenzo declined to give more details of what they found during the NBI’s investigation of Jayme.
Guevarra recounted that last April 17 he directed the DOJ’s Office of Cybercrime (OOC) and the NBI to conduct an investigation against those behind the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos being uploaded on Youtube and has become viral.
He said the videos feature a certain Bikoy who claims to be a former member of a drug syndicate and has implicated “certain members of the first family including someone of minor age as members or beneficiaries of drug syndicates in the Philippines.”
Guevarra said last April 30 Jayme was invited for questioning by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Cybercrime Division (NBI-CCD) who went to his residence at the strength of a search warrant issued on April 29 by Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Andres Soriano.
He noted Soriano granted “an application for warrant to search seize and examine computer data pursuant to the rule on cybercrime warrants promulgated by the Supreme Court against Rodel Jayme for cyberlibel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.”
The NBI-CCD also took from Jayme’s residence his desktop computer, mobile phone, internet service provider billing statements.
“Pursuant to the same warrant, the NBI digital forensic laboratory conducted a forensic examination of the seized devices,” said Guevarra.
“The results showed that Rodel Jayme was indeed the registrant and the administrator of the website metrobalita.com. Likewise, it showed that Rodel Jaime published the link of the Ang Totoong Narcolist videos of the said website which facilitated the circulation of the subject videos,” he stated.
Because of these findings, Guevarra said the NBI decided to detain Jayme.
Meanwhile, OOC Officer-in-Charge Charito Zamora said Google has been contacted in preserving the Youtube videos.
“We requested Google which is the owner of Youtube to preserve the data and they responded positively. They will preserve the data for a year,” she said.