MANILA - Peter Joemel "Bikoy" Advincula is facing three counts of murder over the killing of three people, including a local official, last week in Albay province, a police official said Monday.
Police Lt. Col. Bogard Arao, chief of the Daraga Municipal Police Station, told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo that the provincial prosecutor's office filed the charges against Advincula, including one count of attempted murder.
Advincula is the main suspect for the killing of Donsol Councilor Helen Advincula Garay, 53, and businessmen Karren Dela Rosa Averilla, 44, and Xavier Alim Mirasol, 61. Their bodies were found in an 'ukay-ukay' shop allegedly owned by Advincula.
Laline Herrera Amor, who reported an invitation made by Advincula to the victims, escaped.
Arao said enough pieces of evidence had been gathered by the PNP Albay for them to file charges against Advincula.
According to Arao, Advincula claimed to have found three bodies in his shop at 8:30 p.m. last Nov. 10, which he reported only the following morning at 7 a.m.
The police officer said that when Advincula arrived at the Daraga Municipal Police Station on Thursday morning, Amor was already there and had reported the incident around 11 p.m. the night before.
Police hid Amor in a separate room while Advincula was being interviewed.
Police said that the murders may not be politically motivated even as Advincula's live-in partner is running for mayor of Donsol and two of the victims are running for councilor of the same town in next year's elections.
Investigation points to personal reasons and business as possible motives behind the killings, said Arao.
"Itong si Bikoy, nagkaroon ng hangarin na manghiram ng pera sa biktima, at hindi napagbigyan ang hiling niya (Bikoy wanted to borrow money from the victims but did not get his way)," Arao said.
Advincula, who used the alias "Bikoy," in 2019 linked President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the narcotics trade in several viral videos only to turn around after surrendering to police.