'Bikoy' found guilty of perjury over Oust Duterte plot claims

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2023 10:07 AM | Updated as of May 24 2023 12:43 PM

Peter Jomel Advincula alias “Bikoy” arrives at the Quezon City MTC Branch 138 to post bail in connection with the sedition case filed against him, Feb. 17, 2020. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News/File
Peter Jomel Advincula alias “Bikoy” arrives at the Quezon City MTC Branch 138 to post bail in connection with the sedition case filed against him, Feb. 17, 2020. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATED) — Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula, the hooded figure in the viral videos that linked former President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade, was found guilty of perjury for his claims against 3 lawyers. 

In a decision dated May 22 but promulgated on Wednesday, May 24, Judge Karla Funtila-Abugan of Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 17 found Advincula “guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of perjury” and sentenced him to a jail term of between 3 months and 1 day to 1 year and 1 day.

Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) lawyers Chel Diokno, Erin Tañada and Theodore Te had filed the criminal complaint against Advincula accusing him of “willful and deliberate” lies in implicating them in the alleged plot to oust then-President Rodrigo Duterte.

A Manila court has found Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula guilty of perjury. Photo from Atty. Erin Tañada
A Manila court has found Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula guilty of perjury. Photo from Atty. Erin Tañada

While Advincula initially accused the Duterte family of involvement in the narcotics trade in 2019, he later tagged several opposition figures in an alleged plot to oust the then president through the “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos. 

Advincula in 2019 claimed he met with then Vice President Leni Robredo, Diokno, Tañada and other Otso Diretso senatorial candidates at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City to discuss how to prop up their chances of winning in the elections.

Most of the Otso Diretso candidates, including Diokno and Tañada, denied meeting Advincula while Robredo and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said they were nowhere near Ateneo on that day. 

Advincula also claimed he met with Te and another lawyer on May 2, 2019, days after the videos were circulated online, to supposedly discuss the “finalization” of his “exposure,” referring to a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) office in Ortigas a few days later.

While the former Supreme Court spokesperson admitted meeting Advincula, he said the meeting was on a different date and was only meant to assess whether FLAG could handle his case. FLAG eventually declined and referred him to the IBP. 

Advincula earlier said that all the details he said in his affidavit were true and supported by evidence. 


But Judge Funtila-Abugan said that the “essential element of deliberate falsehood was established in the case” and satisfied the required quantum of evidence for conviction.

She ruled that in his sworn statement, Advincula used the word “kami” (“us”) to show he was present during the separate meetings with the 3 lawyers, even if it was shown that he was not present during the supposed meeting at the Ateneo.

“Accused’s statements do not appear to be an expression of opinion or a judgment. Accused made them under the pretext that he was present and participated in the meetings allegedly held on March 4, 2019 and May 2, 2019. This is easily construed with his use of the word ‘kami’ thereby manifesting his supposed personal knowledge of the meeting having taken place on said dates,” she said.

“However, as shown by the prosecution, accused was not present at Leung Hall in ADMU on March 4, 2019 or had contact, albeit briefly, with Atty. Diokno and/or Atty. Tanada during said date. As for the May 2, 2019 meeting, the prosecution was likewise able to show that the purpose thereof was only for an assessment whether accused can be legally represented by FLAG and nothing related the Project Sodoma,” she added.

FLAG later declined to represent him.

Advincula’s claim that it was the opposition who orchestrated the "Ang Totoong Narco-list" videos led to the filing of sedition and other complaints before the DOJ vs Robredo, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes, Sen. Risa Hontiveros and close to 40 personalities.

In his sworn statement dated July 18, 2019 which he submitted to the Department of Justice, Advincula claimed that Diokno, Tañada and Te were allegedly members of “Project Sodoma,” which was supposedly a plot to commit the crimes of sedition, inciting to sedition, libel, cyber libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice.

The court said the allegation made under oath was material as it had “the potential to influence the DOJ Special Panel of Prosecutors in the determination of the existence of probable cause for the filing of information before the court…”

And it was made in the presence of an associate prosecution attorney who was authorized to administer oaths for a legal purpose — to support a criminal complaint, thus completing the elements of the crime of perjury. 

But only Advincula, Trillanes and 9 others were eventuallly charged in court with conspiracy to commit sedition before a Quezon City court over the "Ang Totoong Narco-list" videos.

Robredo, Hontiveros and the rest were absolved of any liability.

The latest in the conspiracy to commit sedition case is that Advincula had refused to testify in court.


Advincula was present in Wednesday’s promulgation of judgment for the perjury case, based on the order of the court. 

He was accompanied by his lawyer and a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office.

Advincula, who is out on bail, can still appeal the conviction.

He is also facing multiple murder charges over the death of 3 Sorsogon candidates in Albay in 2021.