Lacson cancels Bikoy hearing: ‘Enough of this nonsense’

Rambo Talabong
Lacson cancels Bikoy hearing: ‘Enough of this nonsense’
(UPDATED) 'We are now recalling the letter of invitation sent to Advincula yesterday. Enough of this nonsense,' says Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson will not push through with a Senate hearing to hear out Peter Joemel Advincula or “Bikoy.”

“We are now recalling the letter of invitation sent to Advincula yesterday. Notices will be sent out for the cancellation of the committee hearing on Friday. Enough of this nonsense,” Lacson said in a tweet on Wednesday, May 8.

Lacson said he canceled the hearing because it was clear that Advincula’s claims were “made up.”

Advincula captured the interest of the public after producing a video series entitled the “Ang Totoong Narco List”, where he alleged that President Rodrigo Duterte’s son Paolo Duterte, longtime aide and senatorial bet Bong Go, son-in-law Manases Carpio, and partner Honeylet Avanceña accepted drug money from syndicates.

All Advincula’s accusations were based on his claim that he had worked for a Bicol-based drug syndicate, starting off as a CCTV operator, then the scanner of tattoos of “senior members” of the organization before the drug money was deposited.

Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, had invited Advincula after surfacing on Monday, asking for help from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to help him prepare complaints.

The IBP declined Advincula legal assistance on Wednesday.

In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, police chief General Oscar Albayalde said Advincula was an “information peddler”, who had allegedly offered false information to law enforcement agencies at least two times. He had supposedly asked for P40,000 to P70,000 but ditched later or only gave baseless information.

Advincula earlier said he hoped to testify to the Senate after elections, promising to bring in other whistle-blowers  who supposedly belonged to the same drug syndicate he worked with. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.