Trillanes, Alejano reject Magdalo 'link' to 'Bikoy' video webmaster

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 07 2019 11:15 AM | Updated as of May 07 2019 01:17 PM

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MANILA - Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano and his ally Sen. Antonio Trillanes rejected Tuesday allegations that their group has ties with the owner of a website that shared videos tagging President Rodrigo Duterte's family to the narcotics trade. 

Rodel Jayme, owner of website MetroBalita.net, was indicted for citing to sedition on Monday in connection with videos titled "Ang Totoong Narco-list," which accused the President's family of getting drug payoffs. 

Messages found on Jayme's laptop from a certain Maru Nguyen mentioned "Magdalo's willingness to give protection to the subject", said Acting Prosecutor General Richard Fadullon. 

"I asked our Magdalo members and nobody knows a real person by the name of Maru Nguyen. Moreover, nobody knows Mr. Rodel Jayme, who also said he doesn't know any Magdalo member," Trillanes said in a text message to ABS-CBN News. 

Magdalo "has no communications with him (Jayme) and has not promised him anything whatsoever," Alejano said in a separate message. 

Trillanes, however, said: "if somebody, who genuinely feared for his or her life, approached the Magdalo and that we could offer help, we definitely would help." 

"We make sure that we exercise due diligence in dealing with information coming to us considering that posers and peddlers of fake news are abound nowadays," added Alejano. 

Alejano and Trillanes, both soldiers-turned-lawmakers, are fierce critics of the President. 

INFO FROM JAYME'S LAPTOP

The "Totoong Narco-list" videos claimed drug money was funneled into the bank accounts of Duterte's son former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, his son-in-law Atty. Manases Carpio, and former aide Christopher Go. 

Fadullon said a forensic investigation of Jayme's computer showed "exchanges of conversations as to the fear and anticipated talk of the 'Magdalo.'" 

Nguyen supposedly told Jayme that "there was an investigation by the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) against the President," said the official. 

"This is not just simple cyberlibel. There's more to this than meets the eye because the series of conversation... would tend to show that this is really a planned attack on certain personalities in the government," he said in an interview on ANC's Headstart. 

Authorities arrested Jayme last week for sharing the viral clips. He claimed that he made the MetroBalita website for Liberal Party (LP) supporters, but said he did not know anything about the videos. 

Alejano is running for senator under the LP-backed slate Otso Diretso. The party has denied hiring Jayme. 

Fadullon declined to comment on whether or not the Magdalo could face charges over the issue, saying he wanted "to be fair to everybody." 

"We'd like to know what the charges will be. We'd like to look into what evidence would be brought out against them. I cannot speculate at this time," he said. 

BIKOY SURFACES 

"Bikoy," a hooded figure in the videos, claimed that he used to keep financial records for the drug syndicate that allegedly had dealings with the Duterte family. 
 
In a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), a certain Peter Joemel Advincula on Monday introduced himself as Bikoy and sought legal assistance.

"Bikoy, if he wanted to, if what he's really saying is true, if he wants to come out and press charges, he should have done so at the earliest opportunity," said Fadullon. 

"But he's going to media right now, saying so many things, saying that he will take action. But until such time, we can't do anything," he added. 

Advincula has denied any links to the opposition slate Otso Diretso.