"Perhaps we can revisit this after the elections, when there are no longer any political agenda to be served."
The “Bikoy” conspiracy alleging that President Rodrigo Duterte and his family are receiving payoffs from Davao drug syndicates is getting murkier but less credible. The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has scrapped the scheduled hearing of Peter Joemel Advincula, also known as Bikoy.
Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Panfilo Lacson doubt Advincula’s story and want him to present evidence instead of wasting the Senate’s time for partisan purposes.
The Palace, through Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, dismissed Advincula’s claim and said the real conspiracy is being weaved by the opposition Liberal Party, the Magdalo group of Rep. Gary Alejano, Senator Antonio Trillanes, and the media, who are allegedly seeking to topple Duterte. All the three groups have denied the administration’s accusation.
“Criticizing the administration is the legitimate duty and right of the press in its traditional adversary relationship vis-a-vis government, and not a sinister plot of inciting to sedition,” said a group of journalists who did not want to be identified lest they are included in Malacañang’s matrix like Malaya columnist Ellen Tordesillas.
Tordesillas, who is a constant critic of all administrations, has never been this haraassed, even at the height of the Marcos martial law years.
With only four days left before the May 13 midterm elections, it’s hard to tell whether it is the opposition or the administration which stands to suffer from the back-and-forth allegations spawned by Bikoy.
To elect the right people, perhaps it’s best to vote for the independents and ignore both opposition and administration candidates. This of course is unfortunate for the qualified candidates from both sides of the political aisle. But it is a right step to break the grip of the political dynasties to see the emergence of new names in the Senate and the House.
Personally, I would like to see Alejano, Romulo Macalintal, Neri Colmenares and of course Juan Ponce Enrile win for more sober and active debates on the Senate floor. Let us do away with candidates who sing and dance to entertain the crowd during political rallies, or someone who strips to show he does not have a tattoo on his back.
When the dust has settled on the May 13 elections, it could be a more appropriate time for a Senate investigation of the Bikoy allegations. This would be when any agenda no longer serves a political party. People would still like to know the truth surrounding Bikoy’s claims. More appropriately, charges should be filed in the proper court instead of a Senate hearing where there is a tendency for some senators to grandstand.
It is in the proper court where Bikoy can present evidence and the government can impugn his allegations. No badgering of witnesses who are cowed by the honorable Senate panel inquisitors.
On another matter, the Canadian government announced it would shoulder the cost of shipping back of tons of garbage dumped in the Philippines. This includes toxic medical trash. The Duterte government threatened to declare war on Canada if it it does not ship the garbage back. This is a far cry from its soft approach on illegal Chinese workers in the country who are taking away jobs from Filipino in the on-line gaming industry.
Why the double standard on China and Canada? Canada is a friendly nation which is not encroaching on the West Philippine Sea. Like China, it is generous with grants and loans for Philippine infrastructure projects. This is aside from granting work visas to many Filipinos to their progressive and expansive country.
We need to review our external relation with countries that help the Philippines instead of straining bilateral ties. This is basic in diplomatic relations.