CEBU

Bzzzzz: Bikoy scam, Joy's complaint, 2 Cebu bar topnotchers in senator's staff, PAO's 'illegal' forensic laboratory

CEBU. (From left) Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed to be "Bikoy"; incumbent Cebu City Joy Pesquera; and Dr. Erwin Erfe, PAO's forensic team director. (SunStar File)

PEOPLE are talking about...

* HOODED 'BIKOY' AKA PETER JOEMEL ADVINCULA. If you didn't believe his accusations against the Duterte family, would you believe his claim he was put into it by the Liberal Party? Advincula surrendered Thursday, May 23, and took back his charges against the Dutertes. He is a "scam," said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

* END OF ABS-CBN FRANCHISE. Singer Jimmy Bondoc have tangled over the possible "demise" of the giant broadcast network whose franchise will expire next year. Bondoc on Facebook Tuesday (May 21) said he was "so excited to see the biggest network closed down."

Bondoc didn't mention the name of the network; it's only ABS-CBN that is threatened with closure. The singer called the network "a snake pit," making serious accusations about its management of news and entertainment shows. Angel Locsin responded by calling attention to thousands of people who will be unemployed if President Duterte makes good his threat against the network. House Bill 4349, which seeks to renew its franchise, is still not acted upon.

* JOY'S COMPLAINT. Defeated Barug candidate Joy Pesquera has a complaint, not over the election results that favored her BOPK rival in Cebu City's south district House seat, but about something else. A BOPK councilor, she alleged, has been spreading the "false rumor" that Barug stalwarts Edgar Labella and Mike Rama are at odds with each other.

Cebu bar topnotchers

Two of Cebu's topnotchers from University of San Carlos in the 2018 bar exams will join the legislative staff of incoming senator Francis Tolentino.

Tolentino interviewed the bright boys from Cebu Tuesday (May 21) and he said two of them "will join me." The two were not named but the three bar placers interviewed were Mark Lawrence Badayos, third; Jabb Lynus Cane, ninth; and Allen Joel Pita, 10th.

Tolentino thinks the topnotchers will help the substance and quality of the legislation he will propose in the Senate. And somehow link him to Cebu, the country's No. 1 vote-rich province (with 2,722,288, per 2019 Comelec figures).

A number of senators in the past were themselves bar topnotchers and they didn't have to hire other bar topnotchers. Bright aides can help but not when the legislator alone has to think and speak on his feet.

Tolentino ranked #9 in the 2019 race. In 2016, he lost, finishing #13. He was chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority from 2010 to 2015 and was President Duterte's political adviser from June 2017 until he ran again for the Senate this year.

PAO's forensic lab

Remember the forensic team of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) whose findings contradicted the police forensic lab conclusions on major points? The PAO forensic evidence supported the NBI theory that 16-year-old Christine Silawan's killer was her teenage former boyfriend. The Lapu-Lapu City prosecutors eventually rejected that theory, along with the PAO forensic report.

Well, PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta and Dr. Erwin Erfe are being charged before the ombudsman for graft, falsification of documents and malversation of public funds and their suspension is being sought by the complainant.

The part of the case that must interest Cebuanos is that Acosta allegedly created the PAO forensic laboratory without the authority of Congress.

In the Silawan murder, NBI apparently relied on the findings of a lab whose legality is being challenged.

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