Bikoy 'entitled to due process' to prove claims, says Otso Diretso

MANILA, Philippines – Otso Diretso candidates welcomed the decision of the man called Bikoy to come out of hiding, saying it is now his chance to prove his claims linking President Rodrigo Duterte's family and allies to the illegal drug trade.

"'Yung paglabas niya, at least malalaman na natin kung ano 'yung totoo sa likod ng mga sinasabi niya. Entitled naman siya sa due process," Otso Diretso bet and election lawyer Romy Macalintal told reporters in an ambush interview in Kawit, Cavite on Monday, May 6.

(With his surfacing, now we would be able to determine if his claims are true. He is entitled to due process.)

Earlier that day, the man called Bikoy held a brief press conference and identified himself as Peter Joemel Advincula.

Advincula sought legal assistance from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to help him sue presidential son Paolo Duterte, longtime presidential aide and senatorial candidate Bong Go, and Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte – the people whom he accused in his viral videos of having drug links.

Otso Diretso bet and Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano called for a "thorough, objective" investigation into Bikoy's allegations, especially when the people involved are supposedly the people close to the President, who is waging a bloody campaign against drugs.

"Tama lamang na seryosohin itong bagay na ito, considering the fact na pamilya ng Presidente ang pinangalanan doon. So therefore, I call for a thorough investigation, an objective investigation sa isyu na ito," said Alejano.

(It is only right to consider this a serious matter, considering the fact that family members of the President were named there. So therefore, I call for a thorough investigation, an objective investigation into this issue.)

"Hindi natin dapat i-discount: na kung paano kung 'yung kalahati no'n ay totoo nga? Napakalaking dagok sa bansang Pilipinas na ang pamilya ng Presidente ay involved sa droga na siya ring dahilan ng ikinamatay ng libo-libong mga Pilipino," he added.

(We cannot discount this: that what if half of the claims are true? It would be a big blow to the country if the family of the President turned out to be involved in drugs, which is also the cause of the thousands of deaths of Filipinos.)

Otso Diretso candidates Erin Tañada and Samira Gutoc, meanwhile, believe the IBP should help Advincula file his cases.

"The IBP has its legal services and they can study the case of Bikoy if it's worth proceeding with. I'm sure 'yung mga abogado ng IBP ay mga magagaling sa pag-aaral po nito. At kung sa tingin po nila na sapat naman at may ebidensiyang hawak si Bikoy, then tingin ko puwede nilang tulungan (I'm sure the lawyers of the IBP are capable of studying this. And if they think Bikoy has enough evidence for his claims, then I think they should help him)," said Tañada, who is also a lawyer.

Gutoc added that it is important for a non-partisan institution to conduct the investigation.

"The Integrated Bar of the Philippines should assist in any way as a legal institution, and non-partisan at that. Because people in the comments section online keep on blaming us in the Liberal Party," said the Marawi civic leader in a mix of English and Filipino.

Outgoing IBP national president Abdiel Dan Fajardo said Advincula was just received at the IBP like any other person. Advincula was accompanied by nuns to the IBP.

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. – Rappler.com

 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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