Malacañang now thinks Peter Joemel Advincula's claims worth looking into
MANILA, Philippines – Peter Joemel Advincula must substantiate his claims that the Liberal Party (LP) and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were behind supposedly "scripted" Bikoy videos, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
"We would rather wait for the investigation that will be conducted by the PNP (Philippine National Police) relative to his revelations. As a lawyer, I just don't believe in what a person says. He has to substantiate, he has to submit proof," said Panelo on Thursday, May 23, in a Palace news briefing.
Earlier that day, Advincula surrendered to police and recanted all his accusations about Duterte family members' and senator-elect Bong Go's links to drug syndicates and said the Bikoy videos were scripted and planned by Trillanes.
But Panelo said Advincula's remarks at his press conference are not enough proof.
"For one, he has to submit a sworn statement. So we'd rather have the PNP do its job," said Panelo. (READ: Paolo Duterte calls for investigation into Bikoy's new claims)
Panelo had previously attacked Advincula's credibility, citing his criminal background and imprisonment.
He had also said in a May 9 statement that any PNP probe into Advincula's claims against the Duterte family and Go would be a waste of public funds.
"The government's time and taxpayers' money cannot be wasted on an inquiry against those Bikoy maliciously named, including the President's teenage daughter, Kitty," he had said.
"The lies dominating in said videos have been undressed naked. Some claims are incredible if not absurd to merit even a cursory attention," he had added.
But now that Advincula is pointing a finger at the LP and Trillanes, Malacañang thinks his claims must be probed.
For the Palace, Advincula's decision to "come clean" has changed the picture. (READ: After retraction, Bikoy offered legal aid by Calida)
"Now that he comes clean, ibang usapan na 'yan kasi marami siyang tinuturo, hindi lang siya. Parang napakalaki na ng grand design. In fairness to the people he pointed out, you better substantiate," said Panelo.
(Now that he comes clean, it's a different story because he is pointing at many people, not just him. It seems like there's a bigger grand design. In fairness to the people he pointed out, you better substantiate.)
Vice President Leni Robredo, chairperson of the LP, denied Advincula's new allegations.
"I can speak for the party na wala kaming kinalaman sa Bikoy issue (I can speak for the party that we have nothing to do with the Bikoy issue)," Robredo said in a press briefing on Thursday.
The Vice President also pointed out inconsistencies in the Duterte administration's stance on Advincula.
"Ngayon na oposisyon naman ang inaakusahan niya, all of a sudden, credible siya (Now that the opposition are accused, all of a sudden, he's credible)," Robredo said.
Duterte himself has paid special attention to the Bikoy videos, even ordering the release of diagrams supposedly showing a plot to oust him coordinated by some media outlets, the LP, and Magdalo Party. (READ: Conspiracy diagrams show new level of 'idiocy, incompetence') – Rappler.com