Bikoy links: IBP mulls disclosing press con details to authorities

MANILA, Philippines – As members of the opposition including Vice President Leni Robredo face criminal complaints over the viral Bikoy videos, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) might have details of who has real links to Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy.

New IBP national president Domingo "Egon" Cayosa said on Tuesday, July 23, that they are studying whether they can disclose to authorities details of its investigation into how Advincula ended up at the IBP headquarters on May 6 for his press conference.

Cayosa had earlier ordered an investigation into the circumstances of the press conference, where Advincula vowed to pursue charges against President Rodrigo Duterte's son Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte and Senator Bong Go whom he accused of having drug links.

Advincula has since turned the tables on the opposition, accusing them of orchestrating a plot to oust Duterte.

"These are internal matters of the IBP and we're studying the legality of whether or not the government can look into it," Cayosa said.

Cayosa is included in the 36 people listed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in its inciting to sedition complaint filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ). Cayosa and former IBP national president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo were included in the complaint because of the press conference.

Fajardo claimed before that Advincula was welcomed to the IBP premises like any other person who comes to them with a legal problem. Fajardo insisted he did not know he was going to hold a press conference. IBP later declined Advincula's request for legal aid.

In the affidavit that the CIDG sent to the DOJ, Advincula named priests and lawyers who met with him on the eve of the press conference. Not much else was disclosed in the affidavit on how that press conference came to be.

Members of the opposition, including those named in the complaint, have slammed the charges as baseless.

"I'm very, very confident that when the CIDG and the investigators will refine their work, they will see the truth and they will act accordingly," Cayosa said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra quickly formed an investigating panel to handle the complaint, assigning prosecutors Olivia Torrevillas, Michael John Humarang, and Gino Paolo Santiago as panel members.

Cayosa said the IBP under his watch will continue to be vocal on issues concerning the law, but that it will avoid meddling in politics.

Cayosa also faces a disbarment complaint alongside Fajardo over the Bikoy press conference. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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