The ‘Bikoy’ who cried wolf
Wala na, finish na.
With former special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go having lifted his shirt to expose an untattooed back, “Bikoy,” the supposedly former member of a large drug syndicate, has lost all credibility in his damning accusations against Go and members of the Duterte family.
In a series of videos on social media, Bikoy made specific allegations of drug payoffs against former vice mayor Paolo Duterte, an in-law and law office associate of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, one Veronica Salvador and, most recently, the former presidential special assistant.
The public has been dazzled with supposed ledgers and accounts in the possession of Bikoy, in which an alluring paper trail of payoffs and money laundering was being established in every episode.
With the recent exposé by former PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group deputy director Eduardo Acierto on former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang as an alleged drug lord, Bikoy’s videos had the impression of unknown political forces bent on effecting regime change against President Duterte, by stabbing at the heart of his drug war and exposing it as a farce.
In fact, everyone, including mainstream media, had been eagerly awaiting Bikoy’s fourth episode, which would supposedly name another main principal in his drug syndicate.
Unfortunately for Bikoy, his chance to expose the Duterte family’s supposedly big-time drug links has now been lost with the absolutely amateur mistake of bluffing about Go having a triad tattoo.
Bikoy and company probably made a calculated political bet that even if they did not know for certain whether or not Go had a triad tattoo, Go would never call their bluff and allow himself the indignity of lifting his shirt and exposing his back to disprove their claims.
But their bluff was called, and there was no real indignity, particularly because the former presidential assistant did not have a single tattoo on him. And Go having exposed his back, Bikoy and company have been demolished.
In cross-examination during trial, it is an elementary concept to never ask a question to which the lawyer does not know the answer. The same is true in this very public spectacle being made by Bikoy: Never make a claim if you are uncertain of the truth.
The consequences of the bluff being called is utterly damning for the cause of Bikoy, and puts to question his and his handlers’ fidelity to the truth. It will also make the public wary about what other lies will be hoisted in their next videos.
Former vice mayor Duterte also no longer needs to lift his shirt and expose his back now, because if one bluffs and fails the first time, why should a disappointed public allow a second time?
And for all the social media buildup and good-for-broadcast quality of Bikoy’s videos, it has been exposed for what it may actually be: a not-too-impressive black propaganda effort against the Duterte family and associates.
With Bikoy discredited, it unfortunately gives Malacañang some bravado to dismiss all current and legitimate efforts for accountability as a systematic and concerted campaign to undermine Mr. Duterte’s administration.
Instead of an ensuing political crisis marching toward the doorsteps of Malacañang, Bong Go’s forward march to the halls of the Senate is now all but assured.
All because of the Bikoy who cried wolf.
Terry Ridon is a public interest lawyer and former urban poor chief of the Duterte administration.
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