Senate President Vicente Sotto III changed two crucial details of his story questioning the credibility of whistle blower “Bikoy” in the two press conferences he staged just two days apart.
Because of Sotto’s revelations, Senator Panfilo Lacson canceled the appearance of Peter Joemel Advincula alias “Bikoy” at the Senate.
As a senator and Senate President, the public accords Sotto’s statements with the presumption of regularity—that what he says is what is true.
But what if he changes certain crucial details of his story in two press conferences made two days apart?
On May 6, 2019, while he was in Laguna, Sotto said:
1. Bikoy’s offer of an expose came to him “before the 2016 elections”. He even added that the offer came “kung hindi 2014, 2015.” (If not 2014, 2015).
2. He also said Bikoy did not submit any affidavit. “Marami kaming tinabi. I’m sure marami kaming tinabi. Walang affidavit eh.” [We set aside so many documents. I’m sure we set a lot aside. There was no affidavit.]
But in his press con today, where he made an elaborate slide presentation, one of the first slides he presented clearly said – “Sinumpaang Salaysay (December 2016).
The phrase “sinumpaang salaysay” means “sworn affidavit”.
In addition, the slide stated that the affidavit was dated AFTER, not BEFORE the May 2016 presidential elections where Rodrigo Duterte won.
So, was there really an affidavit or was there none?
If there was none, why say now there is one? To mislead the public?
Perhaps to set matters straight, Sen. Sotto should simply release the entire alleged affidavit of Advincula so that the public can examine it.
UPDATE as of 9:06 PM, May 8, 2009
Somebody just posted this question to me on my Facebook community page – “could sotto be trying to muddle the issues. could he be one of the drug lords?”
Because of this, I just remembered that Sotto once launched a handbook on fighting illegal drugs. It turned out that the funder of his book was named Alfredo Tiongco, whose house in Talayan Village, Quezon City was raided by authorities during the time of then President Fidel V. Ramos. I know this because I had to cover the Tiongco case for South China Morning Post (HK).
Tiongco was a suspected drug lord. He fled to Hong Kong. Tiongco was the first subject of the extradition treaty between Manila and Hong Kong. Guess who “fetched” Tiongco – a police official named Panfilo Lacson.
I can’t answer the question whether Sotto was involved in drugs. I go by the facts – that he had accepted funding from a suspected drug lord to fund, of all things, a handbook on fighting illegal drugs.
Tiongco was acquitted on a technicality.
Or is Senate President Sotto just making it up?
Because if he is, that is not beyond the realm of imagination.
Remember the plagiarism scandal that he got embroiled in back in 2012? Wherein he denied he had plagiarized the late US senator Robert Kennedy, five bloggers and a briefing paper? And most of them reacted? Especially Kennedy’s daughter Kerry?
Meanwhile, below is the pertinent portion from the “partial transcript of press con” of Senator Sotto in Calamba, Laguna on May 6, 2019. I have highlighted the parts I pointed out. The url of the transcript is – https://senate.gov.ph/press_release/2019/0506_prib2.asp
Q: Kanina lumabas na si Bikoy at sabi nya humihingi sya ng tulong sa Senado…
SP Sotto: Lahat ng lumalapit sa Senado pinagbibigyan namin. Pero ang mahalaga muna ay iniimbestigahan din muna namin. There was a particular person, you can verify this, I think I still have some (of) the records. There was a person that approached me, sent word to me when he was still in the National Bilibid Prisons concerning some of the names that were mentioned in the revelations or whatever expose you would want to call it. So nung unang nakarating sa akin yan a few years ago, before the 2016 elections, he was particularly pointing to some officials – Bicol region, Vice Pres. Binay, Pres. Noynoy Aquino – medyo masyadong malalim yung narrating na information sa akin. Ang family name nya pareho rin nung family name nitong si Bikoy eh. Kung noong araw tiningnan namin, pinatulan namin , pinaimbestigahan ko, pinakausap ko. as a matter a fact nagpunta yung isang staff ko dun sa NBP para kausapin eh. He practically sounds the same as this one. But it never materialized because the bank accounts that were given, mga ganito pina imbestigahan namin, pina check namin, kinaila nung bangko sa abroad because hindi raw yun ang number nila eh. Yun daw number na nakasulat 9 ata eh sila raw 7 lang ang number nila sa bank account nila. It never materialized. So now, ito, parang kaunog eh. It sounds the same right? Whatever. If he would want the Senate to investigate, give us the proof. Give us the documents. Submit to us the documents, we can have it investigated and then we will see if kung nararapat tumawag kami ng hearing o hindi.
Q: Ipapacheck nyo sa staff nyo kung same person…
SP Sotto: He’s not here right now. But I can talk to him later. I’m talking about Hutch. Kilala nyo naman si Hutch di ba? Sya yung pinapunta ko dun. Drugs saka mga accounts daw. Same ang family name, hindi ko lang alam kung sya talaga ito eh, same person. I’m not sure. Nadagdagan lang ngayon. Nadagdag sila Bong. Si Bong Go saka si….
Sen. Bam Aquino: Nung una kami tapos naging si Bong.
SP Sotto: Nung una ang mga naimplicate sina VP Binay, Pres. Noynoy Aquino, some officials in Bicol. Baka may mga hindi pa ako ma-recall. Kung hindi 2014, 2015.
Q: Yung mga documents nasa inyo pa…
SP Sotto: Oo palagay ko meron pa. I’ll look at it later on. I’ll check with my office. Marami kaming tinabi. I’m sure marami kaming tinabi. Walang affidavit eh. Puro ganun ang pinadala. So nung pinapunta ko dala-dala yung dokumento, ininterview sya, medyo ligaw ligaw yung sinasabi, pagbalik sa akin ng staff ko, sabi sa akin, ‘sir imbestigahan muna natin yung mga account na sinasabi’ dahil nalilito ako sa kwento. No, I never met him. Hutch met him. Same surname eh. I’m not sure about the first name. So I don’t know if it’s the same person. So what I’m saying, iimbestigahan namin kung merong value yung dapat imbestigahan. Kung may dokumento na sinasabin tama o kung may proof. Kasi kung hindi, hindi naman pwedeng ang Senado basta basta na lang pumapatol dahil lumabas si ganito, si ganyan. Kanina lang kababasa ko nakulong daw si Pacquiao sabi sa Facebook. Nakita nyo ba yun? Eh papano iimbestigahan ba natin si Manny Pacquiao dahil nakulong?
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.