LP leader says ‘Bikoy’ not qualified to become state witness

By Raymund Antonio

Peter Joemel Advincula, the hooded man known as “Bikoy” in the viral anti-Duterte videos, can’t be a state witness in the sedition complaint filed by the police against Vice President Leni Robredo and 35 others, a Liberal Party (LP) official said.

Former Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III (“Erin” Tañada FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)
Former Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III

LP Vice President Erin Tañada said Advincula cannot be given state protection through the Witness Protection Program because he was already convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

“We call on the Department of Justice to deny the application of Peter Joemel ‘Bikoy’ Advincula into the Witness Protection Program,” Tañada, who is a lawyer, said.

Advincula’s lawyer Larry Gadon submitted last Monday the application letter addressed to Justice Secretary Menardo Gueverra, citing threats on his client’s life and life of his family.

He applied for witness protection in relation to Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s complaint of sedition against Robredo and other opposition figures over an alleged plot to remove President Duterte from power.

Advincula was also named as respondent in the PNP-CIDG complaint.

If the DOJ admits Advincula to the WPP, Tañada said it would “bastardize the mandate and essence of the government’s premier sanctuary for witnesses.”

“The WPP is not for a person who makes up grave accusations against the President and his family first, and then changes his mind and makes up sedition allegations against the Vice President and opposition figures next,” he stressed.

“How can we expect to believe that he will tell the truth after his made-up statements? The people’s money should not be spent on a notorious spinner of yarns,” Tañada, who ran for senator in the May elections, but lost, said.

Tañada noted the charges were only meant to harass the administration critics. He then threw his support behind Robredo, who is their party chairperson.

“We firmly maintain that the sedition charges against the Vice President and the other personalities are baseless and are being used only to harass, vilify, and intimidate the political opposition,” he said.

“We continue to stand by the Vice President as she faces these made-up charges for calling out the government on its mass murder of suspected drug users and its kow-towing to China,” the former lawmaker added.

READ MORE: Tañada calls sedition raps filed by PNP-CIDG ‘harassment’