Sotto dismisses ‘Bikoy’s’ denial

Published May 12, 2019, 7:47 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Sunday dismissed as “palusot” (excuse) the denial of Peter Joemel Advincula that he approached the lawmaker’s office and offered information against officials of the previous administration.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III gestures after elected as a newly Senate President at Senate Building in Pasay city, May 21,2018.(Czar Dancel)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III

Advincula responded to Sotto’s revelation last Wednesday that he implicated in December 2016 former President Benigno Aquino III and several other officials in the illegal drug trade, similar to his accusations against President Duterte’s family and allies in the “Ang Totoong Narco List” videos.

In a new video posted Sunday in, Advincula, who claimed to be “Bikoy” the controversial online series, said he did not give the senator a written statement linking Aquino and the others to illegal drugs.

He also denied asking Sotto’s office to help in his release from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) since he knew then that he will be out of jail in 2017.

He said he also did not exchange text messages with Sotto’s legal aide, Hutch Altabas, due to a signal jammer supposedly placed at the NBP when the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Special Action Force took over the detention facility.

Saying the signature in the affidavit was not his, Advincula implied that some people may have fed Sotto the information and used his name instead.

But Sotto was not convinced with the explanations. He maintained that Advincula’s dealings with staff were well documented.

“Palusot (He was just making excuse). Hutch has all his text and even the visitors pass seeing him. All documented,” the Senate chief said in a text message.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson also vouched for Altabas who recognized Advincula when he revealed himself at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines office last Monday.

“I myself asked Hutch if he was sure it was Bikoy whom he met in December 2016, which he affirmed while saying it was a leaner Advincula. The SMS exchanges between them that followed that meeting could not have come from another inmate or person,” Lacson said.

“Given that and his rich background in scamming people, there’s no sense in giving the guy even the benefit of the doubt. It is pointless and a waste of time,” he added.

Advincula, on the other hand, confirmed Lacson’s information and said he spoke with “high-ranking” officials from the PNP who supposedly visited him to verify reports and bank transactions involving a drug syndicate operating in Albay.

The PNP already denied this, saying the policemen refused to work with Advincula.

Meanwhile, Sotto welcomed Advincula’s surfacing online amid the PNP’s pursuit against him.

“It’s good if he is coming out so that his warrants of arrest can be served,” he said.

Advincula, who was convicted of large scale estafa in 2012, had pending cases and was ordered arrested by Baguio and Benguet courts. The PNP is now hunting him down.