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‘Falsus in uno’

"Bikoy,” or whoever put him up to smearing the political opposition, must have such a low estimation of people’s intelligence.

‘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.

In one case, police officials said, Advincula was accused of swindling the organizers of a beauty contest by running away with hundreds of thousands of pesos in prize money. The national police chief added that Advincula had a long history of peddling his stories—often unreliable or made up—for money.

Now that Advincula is singing a different tune, however, the administration seems to be taking his stories seriously.

The Justice department, for example, has called on Advincula to cooperate with the government and produce evidence to support his claims.

The President’s spokesman, meanwhile, has used the new revelations to attack Trillanes, whose term as senator ends in June.

"While many will wish Mr. Trillanes good riddance as he is about to leave the hallowed halls of the Senate at the end of June of this year, we will instead wish him luck as he faces another prospect of being placed behind bars again as the self-confessed black propagandist [Advincula] turns against his master,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

Mr. Panelo, himself a lawyer, conveniently ignores the tenet “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,” a Latin phrase meaning "false in one thing, false in everything." In other words, a witness who testifies falsely about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter.

That shoe certainly seems to fit “Bikoy”—so why is the administration wasting our time and insulting our intelligence?

Topics: Bikoy , Salvador Panelo , Peter Joemel Advincula , Antonio Trillanes IV , Leni Robredo
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