Premature to charge Bikoy with perjury, says his lawyer

Published January 21, 2021, 9:09 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

It is still premature to charge Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula with perjury over alleged false testimonies he provided concerning the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series, his lawyer said.

Peter Joemel Advincula, Alyas ‘Bikoy’

Atty. Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon said that the sedition case against former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and his co-accused, including Advincula, over their involvement in the video series is still pending before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 38.

“Perjury is too early to tell as the evidences in the main case would serve as a prejudicial question as to the truth and veracity of the allegations which are the cause of action in the perjury case,” Gadon said on last week’s filing of a perjury case against Advincula before the Manila MeTC.

The “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series, which became viral online in 2019, featured a hooded Bikoy who alleged that family members of President Duterte and other personalities were involved in illegal drugs.

Advincula, who revealed himself to be Bikoy, claimed that the allegations in the videos were concocted and were part of “Project Sodoma” which was aimed at discrediting the Duterte administration.

He also identified 35 persons involved in “Project Sodoma” including Trillanes, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, and Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) members, namely, its chairman Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada, and former Supreme Court (SC) spokesperson Theodore Te.

Advincula’s testimony was used by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in filing a sedition complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on July 18, 2019.

In retaliation, FLAG lawyers filed a perjury complaint on Sept. 6, 2019 against Advincula and Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay of the PNP-CIDG.

DOJ prosecutors led by then Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas have already issued a resolution which cleared Robredo and 24 others, including the FLAG lawyers, but found probable cause to file charges before the Quezon City MeTC against Trillanes and 10 others, including Advincula, for sedition.

Assistant State Prosecutor Ferdinand Fernandez issued a resolution on the complaint of the FLAG lawyers and found probable cause to indict Advincula for perjury.

Gadon believes that the testimony of Advincula is based on his personal knowledge and should have been “enough to form a belief that these personalities have participated in Operation Sodoma knowingly or otherwise.”

“It is just a debacle that the DOJ panel of prosecutors may have appreciated and viewed the evidence presented by the CIDG in another light,” he said.

“But since the trial of the main case of inciting to sedition is forthcoming , the events that took place will be revisited and it would provide Bikoy the opportunity to prove the participation of the other personalities initially named in the inciting to sedition case. Then we would know who is telling the truth or who are harboring lies,” he said.