MANILA - Malacañang on Monday doubted the credibility of Peter Joemel Advincula who claimed he is "Bikoy" -- the man who linked President Rodrigo Duterte's family to the narcotics trade through a series of viral videos.
In a statement released Monday, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said information about Advincula's "criminal background" casts doubt on his credibility.
"Information about the criminal background of Advincula is starting to come out. It appears that he has been incarcerated in 2012 for conviction of illegal recruitment and large scale estafa, as well as for theft. Presently, there are news that he is facing multiple criminal cases like estafa, among others. These crimes involve moral turpitude that goes to the very integrity and credibility of Advincula or Bikoy," he said.
He also said some officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) may have been fooled by Advincula.
"Certain officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines may have unwittingly allowed their facilities to be used by a fraudster to perpetuate lies and foist accusations against PRRD, his children and those closely identified with him of the commission of illegal trade of prohibited drugs," Panelo said.
According to Panelo, Advincula's allegations have been debunked several times by the entities and personalities he mentioned in his videos.
"Categorical denials vis-à-vis the claims of Bikoy by some of the entities mentioned in his videos, such as those made by the Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Inc. and the Misibis Bay Resort, were made. Strangely enough, such denials did not catch much attention from the media," he said.
Among those who denied Advincula's claims were former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, who has shown his back to the public several times to prove he has no tattoo.
"There is a dictum in law which says: You lie in one, you lie in all. This legal principle applies to Advincula or Bikoy," Panelo said.
Panelo said the government is in the process of "unearthing" information to further debunk Bikoy's claims.
"The PNP is still unearthing information that will further bolster the fraud perpetrated by this unscrupulous person," Panelo said.
"There are strong indications that Advincula is not alone but is just being used by a personality in conspiracy with others bent on destroying the reputation of the Duterte family and tarnishing the image of the President," he added.
Panelo assured the public of the Duterte administration's commitment to the Filipino people, as well as their right to "seek redress from the government."
"This includes the protection of those who may seek to maliciously malign the government and its officials who are under threat, imagined or real. They shall not however be exempted from criminal prosecution for crimes they may have committed," he said.
In a press conference at the IBP, Advincula introduced himself as Bikoy.
Advincula admitted he was sued for estafa in 2012 and given a 6-year jail sentence in connection with documents he signed in his work with VitaPlus. However, he was freed in 2016 for good behavior and found a new job.
Advincula surfaced days after the arrest of Rodel Jayme, who admitted to creating a website that hosted the Totoong Narco-list videos. Jayme said 2 supporters of the opposition Liberal Party tapped him to create the website, which it denied.
Advincula said he has no links to any political party or the LP-backed Otso Diretso line-up.
Meanwhile, the management of Misibis Bay Resort in Albay said it wil file a cyber libel case against Advincula for " maliciously and falsely implicating the resort and its owners in the alleged drug trade."
In a statement, the company said all of Advincula's allegations against the resort and its owners are "absolutely baseless."
"Misibis Bay is a first class, family-oriented resort. It has never been used as headquarters nor as front for any kind of illicit trade. Even claims that the resort allegedly uses one of its basements as a drug laboratory is false," the company said.
"The false and malicious allegations of Bikoy have caused irreparable damage to the reputation and good social standing of Misibis Bay and its owners for which reason he must be held criminally liable," the statement also said.