MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday, May 8, dismissed Peter Joemel Advincula or “Bikoy” as nothing more than an "information peddler."
PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde made the statement in an interview with reporters in Camp Crame, when asked about Advincula, who had accused members of President Rodrigo Duterte's family of involvement in the illegal drugs trade.
“He can be described as an information peddler,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde said authorities had encountered Advincula before as a potential informant, but he allegedly ditched law enforcers after he was paid, or provided false information.
Advincula supposedly charged between P40,000 and P70,000.
“It’s not just one agency who went to him. He asked for money, but he bailed when he was paid. Then there’s another agency that paid him but what he said was false,” Albayalde said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Albayalde declined to name the two law enforcement agencies but he said the information was validated by their investigators tasked to check Advincula’s background.
The top cop said Advincula had offered “similar information” to government – referring to Advincula's revelation in his videos, and at his May 6 press conference – but authorities irgnored him as he had no concrete evidence to back up his claims.
Advincula surfaced on Monday, May 6, after months of hiding since the release of his videos accusing Duterte and his family of links to the drug trade. He had said that he wanted to sue presidential son Paolo Duterte, longtime presidential aide and senatorial candidate Bong Go, and Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Advincula claimed to have been part of a Bicol-based drug syndicate, supposedly working to double check drug money deposits. In validating the identity of what he said were “senior members” of the drug group, he said he had to scan tattoos printed on their back. He claimed he had personally scanned the tattoos of Paolo Duterte and Go.
Go had removed his shirt a few times during press conferences in the past weeks to show his bare back and disprove the allegation.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson had invited Advincula to testify before the Senate on his allegations on Friday, May 10, but Advincula said he would decline the invitation as he feared arrest.
Advincula said he preferred to testify after the midterm elections on May 13. He claimed in an interview with Rappler that he expected 3 other people to testify against Paolo Duterte, Go, and Carpio, it the Senate probe would take place. – Rappler.com
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.