Vice President (VP) Leni Robredo is sweating bullets with the arrest of Rodel Jayme, the web developer connected with the “Bikoy” videos. Several photographs have surfaced online showing Jayme with Robredo and other Liberal Party (LP) leaders. Most notably, Jayme has a photo in front of the Seal of the Office of the Vice President (OVP), exhibiting his proximity to Robredo, and how recent he last met with her and her Office’s staff. While the evidence is far from being conclusive, the investigation is at its initial stages and the authorities are not done with Jayme. This week, we can expect more suspects or witnesses taken into custody, digital footprints unraveled, and maybe some betrayal amongst LP supporters. This may be the beginning of the end of VP Robredo.
“It will be a matter of time until another dissatisfied LP supporter turns himself in.
At the onset, we must be reminded that the VP may be removed from office via impeachment, as provided for in the 1987 Constitution. Section 2, Article XI thereof provides: “The President, the Vice President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.”
While the connection has yet to be firmly established, we can sense the anxiety in the Robredo camp. Her spokesman, Barry Gutierrez, has come to the defense, dismissing any links suggested to “Bikoy” and denied that Jayme was employed in the OVP. But there is still more to be discovered and learned from Jayme, who seems to have a wealth of information in the illegal, seditious and dirty operations of LP and Otso Diretso.
For instance, the messages recovered from Jayme’s Facebook Messenger account showed conversations with identified LP and Otso Diretso supporter, Maru Nguyen, in which the latter said that a certain “Filmore” of Magdalo, will soon approach Jayme. A simple search of her name will show that Maru Nguyen took a photo for the Facebook Page of Atty. Romy Macalintal, last 21 March, while in the campaign trail at Panay. Her photos have also cropped up showing her in a group with Mar Roxas and Erin Tañada.
Netizens have done further investigation and identified “Filmore” as Filmore Rull, an officer in the Magdalo group, close to another Otso Diretso member, Rep. Gary Alejano of the Magdalo Partylist. Screenshots can be seen also of “Filmore” changing his name on his Facebook account from Filmore Rull to an alias “Morphyl Abonalla,” which can no longer be accessed as of now.
Reports that several meetings have been called among the LP and Otso Diretso camp since the arrest of Jayme and orders given to their social media attack dogs to temper down their postings. It will be a matter of time until another dissatisfied LP supporter turns himself in, considering the slim chances of any of the Otso Diretso candidates to win in the 13 May polls. Better to surrender now than face impending defeat in the elections.
Jayme was charged with the crime of inciting to sedition, under Article 142 of the Revised Penal Code, by his publication online of scurrilous libels against the Republic of the Philippines or any of the duly constituted authorities thereof, of content that tend to instigate others to meet together for unlawful purposes or incite people against lawful authorities. However, his willingness to become state witness and be absolved from prosecution, will surely convince his peers to do the same, for the sake of political survival.
Labor Undersecretary Jacinto “Jing” Paras called it — “The yellowtards are behind all these. This is entirely political in nature and a direct attempt by these people to return to power,” identifying Robredo and Sen. Antonio Trillanes as the main people behind the “Bikoy” videos. Paras said that he is preparing his criminal complaint against those responsible, and would file in his capacity as a concerned citizen.
With all this pressure mounting against the opposition and its supporters, loyalties shall be brushed aside and people will end up jumping ship to the administration, which is enjoying its highest trust ratings to date. Jayme is the first of many, and soon enough more credible evidence and testimonies will be gathered to muster up an impeachment complaint against Robredo. As the second highest official of the land, the Vice President is held to a high standard, even higher than a Chief Justice. Robredo’s endgame may be sooner than the resolution of the poll protest against her, after all.