By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday warned the Department of Justice (DOJ), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) against entertaining the claims of Peter Joemel Advincula.
Advincula was the man who claimed to be “Bikoy” in the controversial video series which implicated President Duterte’s family and allies in the illegal drug trade.
He later retracted his statements and pointed to Trillanes and other opposition members as the brains behind the videos, in an alleged attempt to overthrow the Duterte administration.
The PNP, which earlier considered the self-proclaimed whistleblower a fraudster, then granted its protection to Advincula. It also started its investigation on his claims based on the affidavit given to them.
On Tuesday, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the NBI would also be pursuing its probe on Bikoy’s allegations.
“If they go down that road, masusunog at masusunog sila diyan kasi alam na alam ko at ng mga pari kung ano ang katotohanan dito (they will get burned because I and the priests know the truth),” Trillanes said in a press briefing in Senate on Thursday.
He downplayed the agencies’ investigations, saying that Advincula had a record of peddling fake information to government officials, including Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
He recalled anew the certain “Mina” who made similar allegations against him two years ago after he turned down the information she was offering. Mina also tagged Duterte in drugs.
Trillanes dismissed as “stupidity” the premise that priests and administration critics were using the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos as part of the supposed ouster plot against Duterte.
“Imagine-in mo itong matinding kabobohan dito. Pardon the word, but ouster plot daw na pinaplano ng opposition and bishops na ang paraan ay video? Babagsak daw si ano (Duterte) dahil sa video tapos ang main actor ay si Bikoy? Hindi ba matinding kabobohan ‘yon,” he said.
(Imagine the stupidity here. Pardon the word, but an ouster attempt by opposition and bishops through videos? That Duterte will be destroyed by the videos whose main actor was Bikoy? Isn’t that grave stupidity?)
“Having gone through failed exercises, alam ko naman (I already know) what would work or not,” said the former rebel.
Trillanes challenged the agencies to file charges against him based on Advincula’s claims. He expressed confidence that his “mere say so” will not stand in court and that he can counter the allegations with evidence.
The PNP and NBI, he said, will eventually “let go” of Bikoy when they see “that they are being fooled.”
“I’m very, very confident because I’ve seen this happen before. Pathological liars like him (Bikoy) don’t last long,” he said in Filipino.
In his privilege speech recently, Trillanes bared that Advincula was brought to him by priests in August last year as he claimed to have threats to his life for his information about Duterte’s supposed involvement with drug syndicates.
The staunch Duterte critic, however, did not entertain further Advincula’s claims after he failed to pass their vetting process.
Meanwhile, Trillanes clarified that his earlier statements lauding the Bikoy videos were his “real-time sentiments” since he did not know then that the hooded man was Advincula, although the allegations sounded familiar to him.
“Wala akong personal knowledge kasi sa paggawa nong video, so who am I to say na siya ‘yong nakausap ko. That person could be anybody,” he maintained.
Trillanes reiterated that “there is no ouster plot” against Duterte.