By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, has cancelled the investigation on the “Totoong Narcolist” videos.
Lacson made the announcement shortly after the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) announced they have turned down Peter Joemel Advincula’s request for legal assistance.
Advincula has earlier revealed he is ‘Bikoy,’ the hooded video in the narcolist videos where he linked members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s family and administration senatorial candidate Christopher “Bong” Go in the illegal drug trade.
Lacson also made the decision after Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, cast doubts on the credibility of Advincula, whom he said had earlier linked former President Benigno Aquino III and former government officials in illegal drugs in 2016.
“SP Sotto said it all. We are now recalling the letter of invitation sent to Advincula yesterday,” Lacson said in his Twitter account.
“Notices will be sent out for the cancellation of the committee hearing on Friday. Enough of this nonsense,” he added.
— Manila Bulletin News (@manilabulletin) May 8, 2019
In an interview over Radio DZBB, Lacson also said he believes there is no need to investigate the issue since it was clear that Advincula made fabricated allegations.
“Papatulan pa ba natin? Napaka-glaring ang alam natin na gawa-gawa talaga,” he pointed out.
Lacson said Advincula made the mistake of coming out, saying he should have just basked in anonymity if he wanted to make his allegations believable.
“Ang isang pagkakamali ni Bikoy ang paglantad niya. Siguro kung nanatili siyang anonymous, nagtago na lang as alias Bikoy at nanatiling nakakanlong, di nagpakita, di siya mamalasin nang ganito (Bikoy’s mistake was coming out. If he remained anonymous, hid behind the alias ‘Bikoy’ and remained hidden, his identity wouldn’t be jeopardized),” the senator said.
He said it was a good thing that the Senate President was able to keep the files and the affidavit Advincula submitted to his office back in 2016 and was able to compare it with the documents he featured in his YouTube videos.
“Binaligtad (niya). Mga pangalan lang. Cast of characters lang pinalitan. Pero masasabi ko rin isang pagkakamali niya, trabahong tamad. Di na nagbago ng identity code.
“Kung makikita ninyo kanina identity code ni Paolo Duterte pareho rin ang identity code na ginamit sa 2016 sa ibang tao naman, 0029 Alpha Sierra binaligtad lang niya Sierra Alpha. So medyo trabahong tamad, di masyadong nagisip. Akala niya he can get away,” added the senator.
Lacson said it wouldn’t make sense if the Senate digs up Advincula’s allegations when his credibility is questionable.
“Wala na (hearing). Mag-send out na notice na kina-cancel ang pagdinig at wala nang pagdinig na pangyayari tungkol sa issue na nilabas ni Bikoy. It doesn’t make sense,” he pointed out.
He said it is now up to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a deeper investigation on whether there was somebody behind ‘Bikoy.’
In a press conference at the Senate, Sotto said Advincula was the same person who reached out to his office in 2016 and asked for his help through his political officer Hutch Altavaz.
In a PowerPoint presentation, Sotto showed how Advincula provided a list linking Aquino, former interior secretary Mar Roxas and former justice secretary Leila de Lima to a purported syndicate.
READ MORE: ‘Bikoy’ surfaces, seeks IBP’s help