MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Friday it did not intend to show bias when it allowed the man behind videos accusing the Duterte family of drug involvement to speak on Thursday, turning against the opposition.
Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who introduced himself as “Bikoy,” the hooded figure in a series of viral videos against the Dutertes, made an about-face Thursday after initially claiming that President Rodrigo Duterte's son Paolo, son-in-law Manases Carpio, ang long-time aide Christopher Go, an incoming senator, had links to the narcotics trade.
In a press conference at the national police headquarters in Camp Crame after his surrender, Advincula claimed that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and other members of the opposition Liberal Party had hatched a plot to discredit and overthrow the President before June 30, 2019.
PNP spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac said Advincula's public turnaround was not orchestrated. He said they had actually advised him not to speak but eventually paid heed to his insistence to issue an apology “because this is his right,” he added.
“We never had an intention to be biased,” Banac told ABS-CBN News.
“Dahil sa kahilingan nga niya na mabigyan siya ng maikling panahon na magbigay ng public apology sa Pangulo at sa pamilya nito ay ang agreement namin sa kaniya, ’yun lamang ang kaniyang sasabihin. At sabi namin, babala sa kaniya: ‘Anumang sasabihin mo diyan ay maaring gamitin laban sa'yo dahil unang-una, wala kang abogado.’”
(Because of his request to give him some time to issue a public apology to the President and his family, we had an agreement to limit his statement to that. And we advised him, warned him: ‘Anything you say there can be used against you because you do not have a lawyer.’”)
The solicitor general had earlier scored the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for supposedly giving Advincula a platform when he first came out on May 6 to affirm his earlier allegations against the Dutertes and seek protection.
Banac said Advincula's appearance was not intended to be a press conference but merely the PNP’s presentation of a suspect which they normally do in high-profile cases.
The official pointed out that Advicula is imbued with public interest due to his revelations against Duterte. He was also the subject of an arrest warrant issued by Judge Leody Opolinto of the Baguio City Municipal Trial Court Branch 3 for alleged large-scale illegal recruitment and estafa.
“Talagang ang nais lang ng PNP ay ipahayag sa publiko na nandito na ang ating pinaghahanap, ’yung subject for manhunt, para makapagbigay siya ng ebidensya niya sa nauna niyang alegasyon laban sa Pangulo at sa pamilya nito. ’Yun talaga ang intensyon natin kaso nga lang humaba ito dahil sa pagtatanong ng ating mga kasama sa media,” Banac said.
[The PNP just wanted to announce to the public that our wanted suspect, the subject of a manhunt, is here to show evidence on his first allegation against the President and his family. That was really our intention but it got longer due to questions from the media.]
Banac said the PNP also discounts Advincula’s new narrative and made the assurance that he would not receive special treatment in jail despite his turnaround.