Duterte administration hits back at claims president is involved in drug syndicate

Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, son of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and the president's son-in-law, Manases Carpio, take an oath as they attend a senate hearing in Manila on September 7, 2017.

(CNN)Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's administration has strongly denied he has links to a drug syndicate, dismissing explosive allegations made by a man who went by the online pseudonym "Bikoy."

In a series of five online videos entitled the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" (The real narco list), Bikoy -- wearing a hooded sweatshirt to obscure his face -- claimed to have documentary evidence that Duterte and his family members and close aides were deeply involved in the narcotics trade.
Duterte has waged a bloody and brutal war on drugs, which has seen thousands killed by police and vigilantes and which has sparked international condemnation.
    As well as implicating the president, the man said the president's son, the former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte; former Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go -- now a senatorial candidate; and Duterte's son-in-law, Manases Carpio -- husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte -- were "players" in a drug syndicate.
    All have denied any involvement with illegal drugs, with Go citing the president's "hatred" of drugs as reason to stay away from the trade.
    On Monday, the previously unidentified Bikoy allegedly outed himself as Peter Joemel Advincula, a heavyset man in his 20s or 30s with close-cropped hair and glasses.
    Speaking at the offices for the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), the country's national organization of lawyers, Advincula said his life was in danger after he implicated Duterte and those close to him.
    Advincula claimed to have once been a part of the syndicate. Now wracked by guilt and hounded by death threats, he said he came forward to reveal his identity following the arrest of the webmaster of the site which first hosted the videos.
    CNN has not been able to independently corroborate his claims that he is indeed the figure in the "Ang Totoong Narcolist" videos.

    Politically sensitive timing

    A poster of President Rodrigo Duterte's aide Bong Go is seen at an overpass as people take pictures of marching protesters during a rally at a road leading to Philippine Congress in Quezon City, east of Manila.
    The claims come just days before the country goes to the polls to elect lawmakers in mid-term elections. Their release has lit up social media in the Philippines, dividing opinion and sparking furious debate.