One of the lawyers linked on the supposed plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte admitted Tuesday that he was clueless on the video of Bikoy which the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers allegedly helped disseminate.
“Akala ko ‘yung pinag-uusapan e ‘ yung PCIJ (Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism) report sa wealth declarations ng Pangulo, sabi ko alam ko na ‘yun. ‘Yun pala ‘yung Bikoy, hindi ko nga alam ‘yun,” lawyer Edwin dela Cruz, NUPL-National Capital Region chapter president said.
Dela Cruz said he has not watched any video of Bikoy, who linked Duterte and some members of his family and close allies to illegal drug operations.
“Hindi ko nga alam na may ganung video, akala ko nga fake news ‘yun,” he told reporters after a press conference of NUPL.
Citing a source from the Office of the President, the Manila Times reported on Monday that a supposed plot was being concocted by news sites Rappler, VERA Files, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism as well as the NUPL to “discredit” Duterte and “destabilize” his administration.
The report also showed a supposed matrix that links veteran journalist and VERA Files president Ellen Tordecillas and other media personalities and lawyers to supposed plot.
But Dela Cruz maintained that he does not personally know Tordesillas and that it has been years since he last talked with PCIJ’s Malou Mangahas and Shiela Coronel.
“Hindi kami magkakilala personally ni Ellen Tordesillas. Si Malou e editor ko dati sa Philippine Collegian, kasama si Shiela,” he said.
He said while the matrix has no evidentiary value, it would put the people mentioned on it at risk and make them vulnerable.
He added some clients of the lawyers like him might also have second thoughts.
“May mga kliyente na baka magdalawang isip,” he said.
But, more than that, Dela Cruz said the people mentioned in the matrix should be wary of what will happen next.
“Tignan natin kung ano ang susunod. Parang Leila de Lima ‘yan e, nung una black propaganda lang pagkatapos meron na palang niluluto at ipinakulong na siya,” he said. — RSJ, GMA News