‘Bikoy’ describes perjury raps against him as ‘harassment suit’

Published October 1, 2019, 2:50 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Jeffrey Damicog

Peter Joemel Advincula, alias “Bikoy”, said only government prosecutors will be able to determine if there was any truth to his sworn testimony in the sedition complaint filed against those allegedly involved in discrediting President Rodrigo Duterte through the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” viral videos.

Peter Joemel Advincula, Alyas 'Bikoy,' appears at the office of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Ortigas, Pasig City, on Monday, May 6, 2019. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Peter Joemel Advincula, Alyas ‘Bikoy’ (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Because of this, Advincula branded as a “harassment suit” the perjury complaint that was filed against him by former Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada III and fellow lawyers of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno and former Supreme Court (SC) spokesman Theodore Te.

In the counter-affidavit he filed on Tuesday before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in response to the complaint of the FLAG lawyers, Advincula reminded that Tanada, Diokno, and Te are among the 36 respondents in sedition complaint that was filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) using the testimony of Advincula.

“This complaint arises as a result of the Affidavit-Complaint for Sedition, Inciting to Sedition, to Sedition, Cyber Libel and Harboring Criminal/Obstruction of Justice which I earlier filed against various individuals, to include the herein complaints, hence, is nothing more but a harassment suit, and is intended to deter the undersigned from further testifying and disclosing the facts and participation of the various individuals in the said Sedition cases,” read Advincula’s counter-affidavit.

In their complaint, the FLAG lawyers accused Advincula and Police Lieutenant Colonel Arnold Thomas Ibay, the chief of the National Capital Region Office of the PNP-CIDG, perjury and offering false testimony as evidence in an official proceeding in violation of Articles 183 and 184, respectively, of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for using the false testimony of Advincula in the sedition complaint.

Contrary to the accusations against him, Advincula assured: “his Affidavit-Complaint constituting the Sedition, Inciting Sedition, Cyber, Libel and Harboring Criminal/Obstruction of Justice are duly supported by evidence, and equipped with necessary details connecting the actions and participations of the various individuals in conceptualizing the ‘ang totoong narcolist’.”

Aside from this, Advincula pointed out it was premature for the FLAG lawyers to accuse him of lying since the panel of prosecutors conducting the preliminary investigation of the sedition case has yet to determine if there is probable cause.

“All the matter which the undersigned alleged in his earlier Affidavit-Complaint are nothing but the truth, and the Special Panel of Prosecutors are yet to determine whether an Information will be filed in court,” he stated.

“The veracity of the truthfulness of my testimony and statements will rest within the jurisdiction of the courts for determination once a complaint for Sedition or Inciting to Sedition is filed in court. Thus, this present complaint will compromise the resolution of the aforesaid case,” he added.

The PNP-CIDG stated in its complaint that Advicula was allegedly engaged by the 36 respondents for “Project Sodoma” to “spread lies against the President, his family and close associate, making them to appear as illegal trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money.”

“The allegation by Advincula and Ibay that we, Attys. Diokno and Tanada, together with some other Otso Deretso candidates, were in a meeting with Advincula to plan and discuss this so-called ‘Project Sodoma’ is an absolutely willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood in violation of law,” read the complaint of the FLAG lawyers.

Diokno and Tanada denied the allegations of Advincula that they met on March 4 at the Leung Hall of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) to plan “Project Sodoma” along with the other respondents including Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

The two admitted being at the ADMU that day but only “to attend a Senatorial Candidates Forum organized by Rappler and the Political Science Department of Ateneo de Manila University.”

“Right after the Forum, we immediately left the Ateneo campus to attend to other engagements,” Diokno and Tanada indicated.

Te also denied the allegations that he met Advincula and other members of the “Project Sodoma Team” on May 2.

On the other hand, Te admitted to meeting Advincula on May 4.

“The only reason I met with him was in connection with my duties as a lawyer,” said Te who recounted that he was being asked to lawyer pro-bono for someone who later introduced himself as Advincula during their first meeting on May 4.

“After the termination of the interview, I made known my reservation as to his lack of credibility to our National Chairperson, Atty. Jose Manuel I. Diokno, who was then running a seat in the Philippine Senate. We agreed that FLAG would not represent or assist Mr. Advincula and that, if they agreed, FLAG would refer the request to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines National Committee on Legal Aid, subject to their own assessment of his credibility,” Te recounted.