MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Peter Joemel Advincula, the man known as "Bikoy," was backed by a number of Philippine National Police (PNP) officials in 2016, when he was detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and allegedly offered to testify against the Aquino administration.
Senator Panfilo Lacson announced this in a press conference at the Senate on Thursday, May 9. (READ: Lacson dismisses Malacañang matrix: 'Kulang sa research')
"May mga nag-handle sa kanya noon based on information na... active members of the PNP at the time noong 2016 (He had handlers before, based on information, they were members of the PNP at the time)," Lacson said.
He declined to name the cops, but said, "some are ranking police officials who [were] working with him."
A former PNP chief himself, Lacson said he was unsure whether Advincula was still backed by the police officials. (READ: TIMELINE: The 'Bikoy' controversy)
It was also unclear how the cops allegedly assisted Advincula.
In a text message to Rappler, PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard Banac said the police will include the findings of Lacson in their investigation on Advincula.
Advincula was released from Bilibid in 1986. He claimed to have produced the viral video series "Ang Totoong Narco List" which accused people close to President Rodrigo Duterte of involvement in the narcotics trade.
He offered to formalize the allegations with a sworn written complaint but the lawyers he sought from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines declined to give him legal assistance.
A set-up for 'Bikoy'
As chairman of the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs, Lacson had invited Advincula to a Senate hearing on Friday, May 10, but the latter asked it to be held after elections, fearing that he would be arrested by law enforcement agencies.
Advincula's suspicion was not entirely off the mark. Lacson revealed in the briefing that the Senate hearing was a "setup" he had concocted with Senate President Vicente Sotto III to see the people behind Advincula, cite him in contempt, detain him at the Senate, and "not let him go."
On Wednesday, Sotto and his political staffer Hutch Altavas claimed to have contacted Advincula as early as December 2016, with the whistle-blower supposedly promising dirt on former president Benigno Aquino III and his erstwhile Cabinet members Mar Roxas and Leila de Lima. (READ: ‘Bikoy’ had same drug allegations vs Aquino administration in 2016 – Sotto)
Sotto said when they vetted documents provided by Advincula, however, these did not check out. So the senator dropped him. After Sotto's presentation, Lacson canceled his invitation for Advincula.
"Zero credibility siya, maski magsabi pa siya ng 'Ito ang kausap ko'...Wala na tayong papaniwalaan sa sinasabi niya (He has zero credibility, even if he says 'This is the person I spoke with'...We won't believe anything he says)," Lacson said. – Rappler.com