Bikoy surfaces, asks help from IBP to sue Paolo Duterte, Bong Go
MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Following months of hiding after releasing videos accusing President Rodrigo Duterte and his family of links to the drug trade, the elusive man called Bikoy surfaced on Monday, May 6, asking for legal assistance from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
He identified himself as Peter Joemel Advincula, a former marketing executive of a Bicol-based company he said is called VitaPlus.
Advincula said he wants to sue presidential son Paolo Duterte, longtime presidential aide and senatorial candidate Bong Go, and Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
"Nandito po ako ngayon sa tanggapan ng IBP upang humingi ng legal assistance (I'm here at the office of the IBP to ask for legal assistance)," Bikoy said as he held a one-man press conference at the IBP headquarters in Pasig City.
He also said that he was prepared to testify should the Senate hold an investigation.
Who is Bikoy?
In his viral videos, Advincula claimed that he worked for Philippine drug syndicates and handled transaction records. He showed documents indicating multimillion-peso bank transfers to accounts supposedly owned by Paolo Duterte and Waldo Carpio, brother of Manases Carpio.
During his press conference, Advincula said he worked for a drug syndicate under its operations center, overseeing a radio base and CCTV operations inside underground facilities in Misibis Bay in Albay. He then recalled being transferred to their "transmitting and facilitating team."
"Kami ang naghahanda ng monthly tara, isang internal document ng sindikato, na kung saan nakalista ang monthly allocation ng mga principals ng sindikato (We would prepare the tara, an internal document of the syndicate where monthly allocations for principals were listed)," Advincula said.
He claimed that part of his job was to scan the tattoos of "senior" syndicate members, supposedly among them Paolo Duterte and Bong Go. Advincula claimed that he scanned the tattoos of Go multiple times.
Advincula landed in jail in 2012 after he was convicted of estafa for anomalous contracts he signed in VitaPlus, then released for "good behavior" in 2016. He said he tried to follow the law after going out of jail, but he was apparently haunted by his past.
He said he then joined a company which he didn't name in the press conference. There, he said he saw Bong Go again during one of the company gatherings.
"Namukhaan niya (Bong Go) ako. Simula noon ay ginigipit na ako ng may-ari ng kumpanya, hanggang sa isang araw ay sinabihan ako ng katrabaho ko na mabuti pang umalis na ako dahil nanganganib ang buhay ko," he said.
(He recognized me. From then on, the company's owner began harassing me up until one day, when one of my coworkers told me to leave because my life was in danger.)
Advincula said he left the company in 2018 and gathered more information from his former mates at the syndicate before producing the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos.
Ties that bind
Advincula named a certain Tess Rañola as his former boss who got him into the drug network where he supposedly became privy to alleged dealings of Go and the younger Duterte.
Rañola, who was named in the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" video, was the one who filed a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that led to the arrest and the filing of an inciting to sedition complaint against webmaster Rodel Jayme. (READ: Legal questions on the arrest of 'Bikoy' video sharer)
Rañola had appeared at the NBI on Friday, May 3, when Jayme was presented to the media.
"Bago sana inupload (ni Bikoy 'yung mga videos), tiningnan niya muna sana ang mga tao at ano 'yung pagkatao namin. Unang-una po, nasira 'yung pagkatao namin, 'yung pangalan ko, kasi ako ay ordinaryong tao lang, isang nanay, isang widow," Rañola said then.
(Before Bikoy uploaded the videos, I hope he had looked at us first, our character. First of all, our reputation was damaged, my name was damaged because I'm just an ordinary person, a mother, a widow.)
Rañola also said on Friday that she was engaged in a multi-level marketing or a networking business. Advincula said on Monday he worked with Rañola in VitaPlus before allegedly being engaged in a drug syndicate.
"Kaya kung titingnan 'nyo po, simpleng tao po, hindi po ako mapupunta sa drug syndicate kasi wala akong idea tungkol sa mga pulitiko, wala akong kilala, at hindi po ako supporter," Rañola said.
(So if you look at it, I'm a simple person, I cannot be involved in a drug syndicate because I have no idea about politics, I don't know anyone, I don't support anyone.)
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said on Friday that Rañola is being treated in their case as one of the offended parties. (READ: Other 'Bikoy' video sharers can be investigated too – DOJ)
'Received like any other person'
Outgoing IBP national president Abdiel Dan Fajardo faced the media after Advincula, but said he wasn't able to listen to the statement and that the IBP did not organize the press conference.
Fajardo stressed that Advincula was just received at the IBP like any other person. Advincula was accompanied by nuns to the IBP, Fajardo said.
Advincula will be handled by the National Center for Legal Aid, the national office of the IBP which is tasked to handle legal aid cases.
"Nagkataon lang siguro na dahil siya ay nasa gitna ng isang controversy, nandito kayo (media). Bukas naman po ang IBP, every day people come here to consult," Fajardo said.
(Maybe because he's in the middle of a controversy, that's why the media is here. The IBP is open, every day people come here to consult.)
Before reporters could ask questions to Advincula himself, he stood up from his stool and walked backstage. The IBP said they will hold follow-up press conferences in the coming weeks. – with reports from Lian Buan/Rappler.com