MANILA - Now that he has gone public, the alleged creator of the "Totoong Narco-List" videos should show proof of his allegations that relatives and allies of President Rodrigo Duterte have links to illegal drugs, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday.
Lacson, who chairs the committee on public order and dangerous drugs, said the Upper Chamber cannot just call for an inquiry into "Bikoy's" allegations without basis.
"Isa lang naman ang kundisyon na hinihingi namin--ako bilang chairman ng committee on public order and dangerous drugs--magpresinta siya personally ng sworn statement at kung anong ebidensiya meron siya, pwede kaming magpatawag ng pagdinig, maski sa linggong ito," he said.
(Our only condition is for him to personally submit a sworn statement and present whatever evidence he has, then we will call for a hearing even this week.)
"Like it or not, naging political--if not election issue--itong si Bikoy," said Lacson.
On Monday, Peter Joemel Advincula introduced himself as Bikoy, the hooded figure who linked President Rodrigo Duterte's family to the narcotics trade in several viral videos. Advincula denied links to the opposition senatorial slate Otso Diretso and sought legal assistance from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Lacson said a Senate hearing would test Advincula's credibility and likewise give those accused in the viral videos a chance to clear their names.
He said Advincula should present evidence such as bank account numbers or wire transfer documents that would prove that certain personalities were receiving drug payola.
"Kung meron siyang mga dokumento, ipakita niya nang mapag-aralan ng komite at makita rin ng publiko kung may saysay ba," Lacson said.
(He should present documents for the committee to study and the public to determine if it has basis or not.)
"Halimbawa may mga bank account siya na ipapakita na mapapatunayan, o kaya wire transfer na katunayan na napunta talaga sa sinasabi niyang dapat papuntahan e di ipakita niya para ma-evaluate ng committee," he added.
Meanwhile, the senator said he would look into the status of Senate Bill 253, a bill he filed that pushes for higher penalties against lying witnesses.
"Iche-check ko status ng bill kung ito'y nagkaroon na ng pagdinig sa komite, kung hindi pakikiusapan ko yung chairperson kung pwedeng isalang kaagad nang madala sa plenaryo," he said.
(I will check the bill's status if hearing has been made in the committee. If not, I will ask the chairperson to rush this so we could bring it to the plenary.)
Lacson was once a target of false accusations after Angelo “Ador” Mawanay accused him of all sorts of crimes and hidden wealth but evidence were either not produced or not authenticated.
Mawanay later retracted his allegations against Lacson.