The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday filed an inciting to sedition complaint before the Department of Justice against the man whom it identified as the administrator and registrant of a website that published the link to the controversial “Bikoy” videos linking members of the family of President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drugs trade.
The DOJ immediately conducted inquest proceedings after the NBI filed the complaint against Robert “Rodel” Jayme, whom Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra identified as the “registrant and administrator” of the website metrobalita.net that constantly shared the link to the video.
Jayme was charged with inciting to sedition under Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The NBI said the law did not require a person to be involved in seditious acts as long as the elements are met.
“Jayme and his cohorts did not just ‘share’ and ‘like’ the videos. Instead, the posting is a concerted effort, not merely a statement of opinion, directed at a more complicated result,” the NBI said in its complaint.
“Based on collected facts, it is respectfully recommended that a case for violation of Article 142 inciting to sedition under the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 6 of RA 10175 be filed against Robert Jayme alias Rodel Jayme,” it added.
In the complaint, the NBI said aside from Metrobalita, the NBI also identified Pinoy Ako Blog, Change Scamming, Madam Claudia and What Fact Blog as among the active sharers of the Bikoy videos.
Earlier, Guevarra announced that NBI arrested Jayme, website owner believed to be responsible for the circulation of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos implicating President Duterte and some of his family members and associates in the illegal drug trade.
In a press conference, Guevarra said Jayme allegedly created metrobalita.com that published the link of the videos on the said website to facilitate its circulation.
Guevarra and NBI officials declined to provide details about Jayme’s arrest, saying that a follow-up investigation is still being conducted to determine other possible persons involved in the production and proliferation of the videos.
The arrest was an offshoot of the investigation conducted by the DOJ-Office of the Cybercrime and the NBI-Anti-Cybercrime Division intended at uncovering the identity of the producers and uploader of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video featuring a certain “Bikoy,” who claimed to have knowledge about the illegal drug trade involving President Duterte and some family members and associates.
The probe revealed that a recently created Youtube channel with the user name “Ang Totoong Narcolist” posted several videos of “Bikoy,” implicating the first family including someone of minor age as beneficiaries of drug syndicates in the country.
The investigation also showed that a certain website with a domain name “metrobalita.com” was constantly posting links of the videos which allowed the public to have easier access to the videos.
This led the investigators to the identity of Jayme, including some of his personal circumstances.
Guevarra said the suspect was cooperative and surrendered his desktop, mobile phone, and other materials subject of the search warrant without any resistance.
The suspect voluntarily went with the authorities to the NBI to explain his supposed involvement in the posting of the controversial videos.
Guevarra said the Palace was not involved in the arrest.
“Malacañang has nothing to do with this. This initiative was taken by the DOJ in the light of serious allegation by an unknown person,” Guevarra said.
“It appears he started all of this by creating the website …so its logical for the NBI to start with him,” he said.
The Justice secretary said more details would come out about Jayme once the NBI is finished with the forensic examination of his laptop, mobile phones and other materials discovered in his possession.
“We are not done with this guy yet. After further investigation some other people, some special people who propagated the video in a very vigorous manner may be investigated further,” he said.
The Palace said it would wait for the NBI’s official report.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo also said the agencies involved do not need to be told to file cases against the man who allegedly circulated the Ang Totoong Narco List videos.
Panelo said the Palace was unaware of the NBI arrest.
Asked if the President would be interested to file a case against the NBI’s person of interest, Panelo said: “It depends on the findings of the NBI.”
“If they say he’s involved, then the President doesn’t have to instruct them to file, because that’s their job, criminal cases against those who violate the law, right?” Panelo said.
Shortly after Panelo’s briefing, the Department of Justice confirmed the arrest of Jayme.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said, Jayme, a self-proclaimed blogger, gamer, and amateur radio operator, allegedly shared on a regular basis the “Ang Totoong Narco List” videos on his website “MetroBalita.”
“A certain website with domain name MetroBalita.com was constantly posting links of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos, which allowed the public to have easier access. Using an open source tool, it was found out that the subject website was registered by a certain Rodel Jayme,” Guevarra said.
According to the Justice chief, he already ordered a joint investigation to find the source of the video series posted on YouTube in April. With Nat Mariano and Macon Ramos Araneta
Guevarra also said the NBI is looking into the possibility of filing charges against Jayme, which may involve cyber libel violations, child abuse for linking Duterte’s minor daughter Veronica, and, perhaps, even a higher offense.
In the previous episodes of “Ang Totoong Narco List,” self-styled whistleblower named “Bikoy” tagged Duterte’s son former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte, his youngest daughter Veronica, and former top aide Christopher Go as among those who benefited from the drug syndicate’s operations.
The videos also mentioned of Agricultural Assistant Secretary Waldo Carpio’s drug links as Paolo’s alleged “dummy” for illegal transactions. Carpio is the brother of lawyer Manases Carpio, Paolo’s brother-in-law and husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In the fourth episode, Bikoy claimed Manases also received payoffs from a drug syndicate, allegedly using the codename JENNABAY-TSG003 for drug-related transactions.
In the fifth episode, Bikoy alleged that the Misibis Bay Resort in Albay was the headquarters of a drug syndicate operating in Bicol region.
All the personalities and the resort management have since denied Bikoy’s allegations.
The Palace, meanwhile, urged those behind the video series to substantiate their claims and go to court to prove their allegations.
Panelo maintained that the videos are just “pure and simple black propaganda.”
Vice President Leni Robredo, on the other hand, said Bikoy’s allegations must be investigated, adding that he should be placed under witness protection.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, meanwhile, said he is hopeful that the authorities will unmask the persons behind the videos.
Lacson, a former chief ot the Philippine National Police, strongly believes that “Bikoy” was obviously not acting alone.
He added, however, that it should be first determined if the arrest was proper and legal.
Presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said she has no plan to file charges against the uploader of the Bikoy video or even Bikoy himself.
Opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan said it would no longer come as a surprise if LP and their members would be tagged in the Bikoy videos.
“I don’t know Bikoy and I don’t know who he is,” he said in Filipino. With Nat Mariano and Macon Ramos Araneta