‘Falsus in uno’
Peter Joemel Advincula, claiming to be the hooded “Bikoy” in a series of online videos that accused President Rodrigo Duterte’s family and allies of receiving drug money, surrendered to the police on May 23, claiming that all his previous allegations were lies orchestrated by the opposition Liberal Party and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. Advincula had first surfaced on May 6 at a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, where he repeated his accusations against the President’s family. But speaking to the public while under police custody on Thursday, Advincula apologized to the President and spoke of an elaborate plan by the opposition to use the videos to destabilize the government, and to ultimately oust Mr. Duterte and pave the way for Vice President Leni Robredo to take power. He also claimed he was promised P500,000 to appear in the videos—payable after Robredo became president. The Liberal Party, Robredo and Trillanes have all denied Advincula's allegations, but that has not stopped the administration from making hay over his new wild claims. Before Advincula recanted the allegations in his videos, the Palace and the police had cast doubt on his credibility, saying he had pending arrest warrants for estafa and illegal recruitment, and that he was known for making up wild stories. The police even launched a manhunt for Advincula, and Senate President Vicente Sotto III recalled Advincula had tried in 2016 to implicate former President Benigno Aquino III in the illegal drug trade—a claim so wild he never paid it any attention.