MANILA – Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV denied Friday that he was behind the alleged detention of a Davao-based businesswoman, whom he and 2 others allegedly forced to link President Rodrigo Duterte and his family to illegal drugs.
The President's most outspoken critic said he had never met businesswoman Guillermina Barrido.
The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) cited Barrido's affidavit in filing kidnapping with serious illegal detention charges before the Department of Justice against Trillanes, priest Albert Alejo, lawyer Jude Sabio, a certain Sister Ling.
Alejo is Trillanes’ co-respondent in a sedition complaint, which stemmed from Peter Joemel "Bikoy" Advincula's accusation that the opposition had forced him to link Duterte's family and allies to the narcotics trade.
Sabio filed in 2017 a communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing the President and high-ranking government officials of committing crimes against humanity in its war on drugs. The Hague-based tribunal in February last year opened a preliminary examination on the Philippines.
Barrido's affidavit obtained by the media did not detail the allegations against Duterte which she was supposedly coerced into fabricating in another affidavit in 2017, a copy of which ABS-CBN News is still trying to secure.
Trillanes denied Barrido’s claims.
“Saan ka makakita na pari at madre daw ang kasama ko sa pagkidnap at sa kumbento pa daw sya dinetain.”
(Where in the world can you find a priest and a nun who would allegedly me in kidnapping and she was detained in a convent?)
The former senator also asked why it took Barrido years before filing the complaint when it allegedly happened in 2016. In her 2017 press conference in Davao City, Barrido did not mention that she was held against her will.
She however claimed Trillanes paid her P300,000 and promised another P500,000 once the communication against the President is filed with the ICC.
Trillanes’ camp provided ABS-CBN News with a copy of a cellphone video showing Barrido freely making claims against Duterte at a mall restaurant in Pasay.
In the video, Barrido shared she called the President “atik-atik,” a Bisayan expression referring to a person full of exaggeration.
“Yung magsabi siya na ‘I hate drugs,’ natatawa na lang kami,” she said.
(When he says ‘I hated drugs,’ we just laugh.)
“Kasi alam namin na hindi totoo eh. Atik lang. Puro kasinungalingan lang, Attorney ba,” she told a male person who asked why she laughed at Duterte’s statement.
(We know it's not true, but just an exaggeration. It's just lies, right Attorney?)
Sabio referred to Barrido’s video in his column, a draft of which he gave to ABS-CBN News last May.
“I had to post on my FB account two or more videos showing the initial interview by me, the staff of Sen. Trillanes and Fr. Alejo of Mina and my later one-on-one interview as lawyer of her. These videos helped a lot in disproving Mina’s claim that Senator Trillanes, Fr. Alejo and I coached her into pointing President Duterte’s drug involvement,” he wrote, referring to Barrido by her nickname.
In a separate statement, the lawyer also said Barrido gave her 60-page affidavit against Duterte voluntarily.
ABS-CBN News is still seeking the sides of Barrido and Alejo.