By Jeffrey Damicog
Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday (Oct. 11) denied allegations he kidnapped and detained Davao-based businesswoman Guillermina Barrido who claimed she was being forced to make false statements to discredit President Duterte.
“To be honest ito yung kauna-unahang beses kong nakita yang tao na yan dito sa DOJ (To be honest this is the first time I saw her here at the Department of Justice),” Trillanes told reporters following the preliminary investigation hearing of Barrido’s complaint at the DOJ.
“So talagang this is purely a harassment case,” the former lawmaker stressed.
Trillanes and three co-respondents are facing criminal complaint filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on behalf of Barrido who accused them of kidnapping and serious illegal detention in violation of Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
The others who have been named as respondents in the complaint are Fr. Albert Alejo, Atty. Jude Josue Sabio, and a certain Sister Ling.
Barrido stated in her sworn affidavit that Alejo bought her plane ticket to Manila where she arrived on Dec. 6, 2016 and was picked up from the airport by the priest and Sabio.
However, while in Manila, Barrido was kept and was not allowed to leave the Cannussian Sisters Convent and the Holy Spirit Convent until she signs a statement making false accusations against Duterte about his involvement in illegal drugs.
“May history siya na, according sa nakakalap namin na mga, ebidensya may history ito ng panloloko ng iba’t ibang mga tao, nangangawarta siya (We have gathered evidence that she has a history of duping people and asking them for money),” revealed Trillanes.
“Ang kwento sa akin ng mga pari ay ito ay humingi sa kanya ng tulong dahil nanganganib nga ang buhay niya tapos hinihingan rin niya ng pera in the process dahil meron daw siyang sasabihin laban kay Duterte (The prelates told me Barrido sought help as she claimed being in danger and even asked money because she claims she has an expose against Duterte),” he said.
“Ngayon, may mga nakuha kaming mga videos to support these arguments at ipe-presenta namin yan lahat sa counter-affidavit (We have video evidence to support our arguments and will be presented in our counter-affidavits),” he added.
Trillanes said church officials who took custody of the businesswoman eventually became suspicious of her allegations.
“Nung hindi na sya nabibigyan ng pera ay bumaligtad na (She eventually flipped her narrative when she was no longer getting any money),” he said.
Meanwhile, Assistant State Prosecutor Gino Paolo Santiago, who is conducting the preliminary investigation of the complaint, granted the appeals of the respondents to extend the deadline for the filing of counter-affidavits in response to the allegations.
Santiago gave the respondents until October 22 to file the counter-affidavits, while, Alejo was given until October 23.
After which, Santiago said the case will be submitted for resolution and those who failed to file counter-affidavits will be deemed to have waived their chance to present their defense.