A suspected extortionist, who was nabbed by the Philippine National Police, linked on Thursday former Senator Bam Aquino and former Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano to an online smear campaign against candidates of the Duterte administration.
Dennis Borbon, who identified himself as an anti-Duterte blogger, said that Aquino's chief of staff paid him between P20,000 to P40,000 a month for the adverse online posts against President Rodrigo Duterte's candidates.
"N'ung election, lumapit sa akin 'yung chief of staff ni Bam Aquino at pinapatira yung mga kandidato ng administrasyon noong nakaraang eleksyon... Nagde-deposito sila ng 20k to 40k. Iba pa nga po yung galing kay Congressman Gary Alejano,” Borbon said.
"'Yung mga alegasyon pong sinasabi ni Senator Christopher Lawrence Bong Go, totoo po ‘yun hindi ko naman po kinakaila ‘yun..." he added.
Senator Bong Go, who ran under the ruling PDP-Laban and who was endorsed by the Davao-based Hugpong ng Pagbabago, called out Aquino, whom he said earlier denied that the Liberal Party was behind any black propaganda against administration bets.
Go was at the PNP press conference in which Borbon and his fellow suspects were presented.
The suspects allegedly extorted money from certain lawmakers.
"Mas naging interesado ako dahil mas malalim pala ang taong ito. Inutusan din pala siya noong nakaraang eleksyon para siraan kami,” Go said.
"Ngayon, tinatanong ko si Bam Aquino... anong ginagawa ng chief-of-staff mo? Nagdedeposito ng pera sa account niya para siraan kami. May karapatan kang sumagot..." he added.
Aquino and Alejano denied Borbon's allegations and asked that his claims not be dignified.
"Kulang sa pansin itong si Borbon at malinaw na iniiba ang kwento para makalimutan ang mga krimeng nagawa nya," Aquino said in a text message.
"Wala tayong kinalaman sa kanya. Huwag sana nating paniwalaan ang mga tao gaya ni Borbon na manloloko at nakasangkot sa mga scam," he added.
Alejano said his "social media and related campaign materials were undertaken by professional volunteers known in the industry during the campaign."
"I will never resort to smear campaign whatsoever and my team knows that as a general rule," Alejano said in a text message.
"May our government officials be more responsible in releasing information to public especially if their source is from a scammer," he added.
Borbon also claimed that he personally knew Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claims to be the hooded Bikoy in anti-Duterte videos which implicated the First Family in illegal drug trade.
"Kilala ko rin po si Peter. Nagkakausap din po kami," he added.
Go said he wanted the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the alleged link of the suspects to the opposition personalities.
He also mentioned former Senator Antonio Trillanes, claiming that he was also involved in the campaign against opposition bets.
"Gusto ko lang po malaman ang totoo. Humihingi lang po ako ng hustisya, dalawang beses nila akong pinaghubad para patunayan 'yung black propaganda na pinapataw nila sa akin na di totoo," Go said.
Sought for comment, Trillanes said, “Pwede ba tigilan nya ako sa mga kalokohan niya? Wala akong pakialam sa kanya.” —with Erwin Colcol/NB, GMA News