Woman in Trillanes kidnapping case accused of swindling Pinoys abroad

Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2019 12:30 AM | Updated as of Oct 10 2019 01:06 AM

LONDON (UPDATE) - An OFW in London has accused the complainant in the kidnapping charges against former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and 3 others of swindling her and other Filipinos working abroad.

Myra De Villa Cattaneo told ABS-CBN News she was one of Guillermina Barrido's scam victims.

Cattaneo, who was part of a non-governmental organization (NGO) called "Filipino Alliance for a Better Society" (FAB), said she responded to Barrido's calls for help back in some communities in the Philippines.

She also said she donated money for livelihood projects and medical missions in the country.

Cattaneo said she pitied Barrido after the latter sought help from OFWs because men of Davao Rep. Paolo "Pulong" Duterte, the President's first son, were allegedly threatening her due to her social media posts criticizing then Davao Mayor Duterte. This, the OFW said, caused her to send more money back to the Philippines.

However, Barrido reportedly failed to liquidate donations.

"Nagka-problema kami nung i-ask siya na i-liquidate ang remaining half. Nang-aaway na siya, nagha-harass na siya ng officers ng NGO namin," Cattaneo told ABS-CBN News.

She added: “Basically, nung 'di na ma-liquidate ang donations na binigay ko, wala siyang ma-provide. D'yan na nag-umpisa na mag-suspect na ma-budol budol ako, kami.”

Barrido has a record of using NGO funds for other purposes, Cattaneo claimed.

In 2017, Barrido claimed that Cattaneo donated money to support advocacies against Duterte, and fund rallies of the opposition and their supporters.

Barrido, a Davao-based businesswoman, also claimed that the OFW sent money for Liberal Party's Mar Roxas-Leni Robredo ticket in the 2016 presidential race.

Cattaneo denied these accusations, saying she only sent money for NGO purposes. She added that she was not able then to participate in the 2016 presidential election campaigns because of her health.

“I was not part of the Ro-Ro (Roxas -Robredo) campaign. I was busy with my studies. I was sick. I was paralyzed," said Cattaneo, showing her medical record to ABS-CBN News.

Last August, Barrido claimed she was detained in 2 convents and forced to sign a "ready-made affidavit" linking Duterte to corruption, narcotics, and a death squad. Trillanes, lawyer Jude Sabio, Fr. Albert Alejo and a "Sister Ling" were implicated in the businesswoman's complaint.

The accused denied the charges.