The Department of Justice on Sunday impugned the credibility of the anonymous man identified as “Bikoy” in the “Totoong Narcolist” videos that implicated several members of the presidential family in the illegal drug trade.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) could also pursue an investigation into the allegations made in the videos, Bikoy’s anonymity has repercussions on his claims.
“Hiding behind a cloak of absolute anonymity casts a serious doubt as to his motive and truthfulness,” he said.
“Genuine whistleblowers are not afraid to come out of the dark and into the light,” he added.
Guevarra issued the statement in response to the challenge posed by opposition Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima for the DOJ to look into the allegations of Bikoy and former police official Eduardo Acierto, instead of cracking down on the whistleblowers.
“The DOJ is not foreclosing any investigation of the allegations made by Bikoy and Acierto, but first we have to establish if there is prima facie evidence other than their mere allegations to initiate an investigation,” he said.
The NBI is currently in pursuit of Bikoy and Acierto upon orders of trial courts.
Acierto is facing drug importation cases before the Manila regional trial court branch 35 over his alleged involvement in the smuggling of multibillion-peso shabu shipments last year.
On the other hand, the administrator of the website metrobalita.net that spread the Bikoy videos on social media was arrested last week through search warrant issued by Makati RTC branch 148.
Rodel Jayme, who was charged with inciting to sedition charges before the DOJ, has expressed willingness to spill the beans and identify the people behind the Bikoy videos.
In a press conference, Jayme admitted that he was paid P2,500 to build the website early this year by a woman he identified as Maru or Mary Nguyen.
He said he met Nguyen when they both served as volunteers in the campaign of Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II in 2015.
But Jayme denied any links to the LP or Vice President Leni Robredo.
The NBI said Jayme could be used as a state witness and be covered by the Witness Protection Program of the DOJ should he meet the eligibility under the law.
The bureau cited chat messages between Jayme and certain individuals that became basis for filing of inciting to sedition charges against him.
It cited “continuity of their efforts to conduct their scurrilous libelous attacks against the government. The conversation also revealed that these attacks are planned and with backing from certain personalities.”
NBI sources revealed that Jayme has already started spilling the beans and is expected to name more individuals involved in the making and uploading of the videos.
Guevarra clarified that contrary to reports, Jayme was not the uploader of the videos but rather only the administrator and registrant of the website that shared the videos online.
The DOJ is expected to release today the resolution on the charges against Jayme following inquest proceedings conducted by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Anna Noreen Devanadera.
In the series of videos, Bikoy accused the President’s children Paolo and Sara and her husband Manases Carpio as well as Duterte’s partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña and their daughter Kitty of benefitting from illegal drug trade.
On the other hand, Acierto accused former economic adviser Michael Yang and Chinese national Allan Lim of being involved in the drug trade.
On Sunday, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the government should find Bikoy to determine the motive behind the release of the videos and to determine if there was indeed a plan to overthrow the government.
In an interview on radio dzBB, Lacson also said the government had the right to look into the videos.
“The administration has the right to look at this angle because if you want to topple the government, that’s against the law,” Lacson said.
In a news conference at the NBI on Friday, Jayme said “Maru Nguyen” and “Maru Xie,” both supporters of the opposition Liberal Party, asked him to put up the website, assuring him that it would just be used to share articles highlighting the achievements of the previous administration.
The NBI found that Jayme was the administrator and registrant of the website used to share the controversial “Bikoy video clips.”
READ: ‘Bikoy’ uploader tags LP supporters behind videosREAD: Bikoy uploader rapped for ‘inciting to sedition’
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