Palace: Hunt for ‘Bikoy’ not a diversionary tactic

Published May 4, 2019, 11:56 AM

by Francine Ciasico

By Argyll Geducos

Malacañang denied that the search for “Bikoy”, the man allegedly behind the video linking President Duterte’s family to illegal drugs, was a diversionary tactic to cover up the administration’s shortcomings.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after the Liberal Party (LP) was linked to the incident following the arrest of the uploader of the Bikoy video by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) early this week.

In a statement, LP President and Otso Diretso senatorial slate campaign manager Senator Francis Pangilinan said linking their party to the dissemination of the videos was a way to divert the attention of the public.

However in an interview, Panelo said the hunt for Bikoy was not a diversionary tactic, and accused LP for using the videos to try to ruin the image of the President.

“Diba sila nga nag-umpisa noon, ng propaganda? Ginamit nila yung Bikoy propaganda para siraan ang gobyerno. Sila yun (They were the ones who started it. They used the Bikoy incident as a propaganda to besmirch the government. That was their handiwork),” he said.

“What I’m saying is they used that against the family… In other words, they contributed to the intrigue by using that as a propaganda. Eh, ever since naman sinabi namin black propaganda, kaya hindi namin pinapansin (we said that was black propaganda that’s why we were not paying any attention to it),” he added.

Panelo also explained that the search for Bikoy by the authorities was the obvious course to take since it was the duty of the lawmen to go after criminals.

“Ang paghahanap ng mga nasa likod ay natural lamang sa isang pamahalaan, at sa ahensya ng mga pulis dahil yun ang kanilang tungkulin–hanapin ang mga nasa likod ng krimen (Searching for these people is their duty). That’s their job,” he said.

According to the Palace official, they would now just wait for the investigation of the NBI to finish. He said President Duterte was not lifting a finger to get to the bottom of the issue.

“Yung kay Bikoy iniimbestigahan na ng NBI. So tignan natin kung ano ang magiging kahihinatnan ng imbestigasyon (The NBI is already investigating it. So we will just see). We’ll just wait,” Panelo said.

“Knowing him (President Duterte) he’s busy with his work… Pinapabayaan niya na yung mga ahensya ng gobyerno to function ang kanilang (He will let these government agencies to function and do their) individual tasks,” he added.

Early this week, Rodel Jayme earlier told authorities he made the website that carried the Bikoy videos for fellow Liberal Party supporters. He was charged with inciting to sedition.