By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday called on ‘Bikoy’ to come out and validate the claims he made in a viral video regarding the involvement of members of the family and close allies of President Rodrigo Duterte in the illegal drug trade.
Lacson said he saw no need for the Senate to investigate the allegations against the first family since the accuser—the hooded man in the video—has yet to appear in public and verify his claims.
Bikoy, in the videos, claimed to be a former member of a drug syndicate and alleged that members of the First family were involved in or have benefited from illegal drug trade.
“Mahirap magtanong sa video. Hindi sasagot ang video (You cannot ask a video. And a video won’t respond),” Lacson said in a DZBB radio interview.
“Kung maiharap si Bikoy, ma-identify kung sino, at padala namin ng invitation o subpoena, at humarap siya roon, tatanong namin si Bikoy anong basehan ng akusasyon mo? (If Bikoy comes out and he is identified, we will send him an invitation or subpoena and face the Senate, and ask him what are the basis of your accusations?)” Lacson pointed out.
If Bikoy will be able to submit evidences regarding the involvement of the President’s family and even Christopher “Bong” Go, the former presidential aide, the Senate would then have to make recommendations by way of a committee report.
“Kung may maipapakita siya, pwede kaming magrekomenda sa level namin sa Senado by way of a committee report, na file-an ng kaso maski member ng First Family pero dapat may basehan. May basis in law, (If he is able to show proof, the Senate can make recommendations by way of a committee report and file cases against them even against a member of the First Family, but there should be basis. There should be basis in law),” Lacson stressed.
It would not matter where the accusation will be coming from, Lacson said, because what would be important will be the substance of the accusation.
“It doesn’t matter kung opposition o galit sa First family. Ang pagbabasehan natin, ano ba ang ebidensya. Ano ang maipapakita na pruweba na may basehan para magsagawa ng investigation, (it doesn’t matter if he’s from the opposition or has a grudge against the First Family. We will base everything on evidence. What proof does he have that can be the basis for us to start an investigation),” Lacson said.
Earlier, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV expressed hope that Bikoy would surface and finally stand pat on the allegations he hurled against the Duterte family.
“Kung talagang seryoso ka at hawak mo ang katotohanan ay dapat papanindigan mo iyan (If you are really serious and all you have is the truth, then you should stand firm),” Trillanes had said in a DWIZ interview.
“Pero ito nga mismo ang ginagawa ng Duterte administration. Pinipigil yun (mangyari) (But this is exactly what the Duterte administration is doing : they are trying to stop it from happening),” he pointed out.
“So only ‘Bikoy’ can tell kung ano ang gagawin niya. Kung meron ngang ‘Bikoy’,” he added.
Last week, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested a certain Rodel Jayme, who was supposedly responsible for uploading the controversial videos.
Jayme, 27, however, claimed that Liberal Party (LP) supporters were behind the videos, saying he was merely asked to create a website to share them.