The cock-and-bull production featuring an anonymous character named “Bikoy” who hurled accusations against President Rodrigo Duterte and his family was the handiwork of the Liberal Party (LP), the Magdalo partylist and the yellow media to discredit the Duterte administration and to boost the chances of the Otso Diretso bets, the Palace said yesterday.
The LP was represented by Edwin Lacierda, spokesman of former President Noynoy Aquino, in the vilification plot.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo also confirmed a Daily Tribune report on the strong links of the spreading of the series of “Bikoy” videos to the Magdalo group of administration critics Sen. Antonio Trillanes and Otso Diretso bet Gary Alejano.
Daily Tribune headlined last 6 May the identity of a former putschist who was cited in the communications in the devices of Rodel Jayme, the administrator of the website metrobalita.net where the “Bikoy” videos appeared.
Jayme said it was a certain “Maru Nguyen” and “Maru Xie” who had paid for the uploading of the videos.
The National Bureau of Investigation established the two names belong to just one person and, in a conversation, Nguyen told Jayme that “Magdalo may try to contact you.”
The name of a certain “Filmore” who is a member of Magdalo was given by Nguyen, who said the goal was to gain international attention or coverage to the posted video. Filmore is ex-Air Force Lt. Filmore Rull who was part of the Oakwood mutiny and Manila Peninsula siege.
He is also the son of an employee of Trillanes and is associated with Alejano who is ex-Master Sergeant Dominador Rull Jr.
“Rull is a member of the PMA Class of 2001 and currently serves as security officer of Senator Antonio Trillanes who is the alleged facilitator for Jayme’s safety after the ‘Totoong Narcolist’ videos became controversial,” Panelo said.
Alejano, in a television interview, admitted that Rull is with Magdalo and is “helping the organization.”
“Rull does not know Jayme,” claimed Alejano.
Panelo using several matrices presented more evidence of the alleged collusion between groups out to discredit Mr. Duterte and his administration.
In a hastily called news conference, Panelo showed a “broader matrix” linking more personalities to a “grand conspiracy” to overthrow the Chief Executive from power.
“There seems to be multi-nodal relationships between journalist Ellen Tordesillas, former presidential mouthpiece Lacierda, the Magdalo group of Trillanes and Alejano, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison, social media specialist Cocoy Dayao, several personalities from the LP, Advincula alias “Bikoy” and LP sympathizers in the black propaganda against Mr. Duterte,” Panelo said.
Other LP personalities mentioned were reelectionist Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV and senatorial candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Panelo also named a certain Bong Banal as the narrator of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” (The Real Narcolist) video series. Panelo said the information came from the Chief Executive himself.
The cited personalities, asserted the official, are “identified as advocates or very active in social media, dishing out anti-Duterte statements and sentiments and were validated to be allied with the Liberal Party.”
“The President has received intelligence information that has been validated and appears to show that there is a deliberate attempt to discredit this administration, as well as to boost the candidacies of the opposition, senatorial candidates. The other group, by the way, is Magdalo,” stated Panelo.
“It appears from a diagram that Liberal Party, the Magdalo and other groups indicated in the matrix are working hand-in-hand,” he added.
Panelo revealed that the broader matrix came about after probe results yielded the origin of the viral videos, as well as the domain of the e-mail addresses used to spread them, as coming from a lone location – a small office space in Makati City.
“The intelligence information shows that some of them, if not all of them, are using the same office – a 40-square-meter office,” he bared.
“Even their e-mail address appears to be – that their e-mail is the one sharing this video of ‘Bikoy.’ Their e-mail, it means the same people are sharing the same video of ‘Bikoy,’” he added.
Panelo also floated the “Bikoy” in the video and Advincula, who surfaced last Monday, 6 May, and claimed to be “Bikoy,” may be two different people based on voice analysis done by experts.
The one in the video bears an Ilocano accent, while Advincula has a Bicolano accent, Panelo said.
However, proving who is the real “Bikoy” is now irrelevant, according to Mr. Duterte’s mouthpiece.
“What matters is that there is proof of a conspiracy against the President,” he said.
Pressed on how the President was able to get his hands on seemingly damning evidence against his critics, Panelo could not say for sure if the said intelligence report came from local or foreign operatives.
The Chief Executive, a few weeks back, had warned his political foes that they “are being listened to” by “friends from foreign governments.”
“He is the President. He has many sources. Better to ask him yourself,” Panelo told reporters.
Asked if the latest batch of information he released has been duly vetted, Panelo answered that Mr. Duterte, “one who is effective President, he would have validated every information he has received.”
Questioned on the next steps Malacañang will take next, the spokesman said the President will be giving leeway to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, in close coordination with law enforcement agencies conducting investigations, to determine appropriate charges to be filed against those mentioned in the matrix.
“We will let the Department of Justice – since that is his turf, Secretary Menardo Guevarra – to do the job. He will study what cases should be filed against them,” Panelo said.
“Hopefully by revealing it to the public, we are preempting their move. But we want to know — we want to let the public know that their intention is not only to discredit this administration leading to its ouster and to boost the candidacies of the senatorial candidates,” he concluded.
Advincula also has questionable background and credibility, Panelo said.
He pointed out that the credibility of “Bikoy” is very low given his previous cases and conviction.
“The problem with him is that his credibility is shot. Just on his allegations (of a tattoo) against Bong Go, he was already proven to be a farce. Go again bared his back and it was all clean,” Panelo said.
“Number two, those places he mentioned such as the Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Albay their owners issued a denial. Also, there was one from the resort mentioned,” Panelo added.
For the Palace official, all of the “Bikoy” show is a spectacle and a black propaganda against the Chief Executive. More so, “Bikoy” is just being used as a pawn by certain individuals, Panelo stressed.
Despite this, he said “Bikoy’s” surfacing is a significant development to show that there are indeed people using him for the grand design of removing President Duterte from office.
“What is significant is that it is obviously a black propaganda because of the three things I mentioned earlier. Until such time that the PNP will give us a full report on this particular person, let’s just wait,” Panelo said.
“It is a significant development that will show that indeed there are people behind the ouster of the President because that video is definitely a move to discredit the President – for the people to lose trust in this President,” he added. Likewise, he responded to the allegations of “Bikoy” that his life is under threat, saying how this would be possible if “Bikoy” has not been publicly known previously.
“Even the threat he claims against his life, that is a pretended act. That is too obvious. Who in the world will threaten him? He’s a nobody,” he said.
The Palace spokesman, meanwhile, assured that while “Bikoy” is going against the government, there should be no worry about the state silencing him or any other critics.
“We will not allow anyone to injure or to kill administration critics. We will not allow it,” Panelo assured.