By Macon Araneta
Former senator Antonio Trillanes IV was summoned by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to appear at the preliminary investigation of a kidnapping complaint filed against him by a businesswoman from Davao City.
But Trillanes, who earlier downplayed the accusation, stressed it was clearly another fabricated allegation by the Duterte administration.
“In the first place, I haven’t even met this woman in my life,” said Trillanes, referring to Guillermina Arcillas.
“Based on the information given to me, this person, like the infamous Bikoy, approached the religious community to seek sanctuary because (she was) supposed (to have) damaging information against Duterte,” he said.
In the meantime, Trillanes said the complainant asked different overseas Filipinos for financial support.
But once they noticed that she had only been making up stories, they stopped sending.
He said she then turned to the other side and started claiming she was coerced by those giving her sanctuary.
In short, Trillanes said she is accusing a priest and a nun for kidnapping and putting her in a convent.
“But then for political impact, she included me in her allegation. That’s as absurd as Duterte saying that I didn’t apply for amnesty. Just the same, my lawyers would be presenting lots of evidence to debunk this fantastic allegation,” explained Trillanes.
He was sent a subpoena to show up before the DoJ prosecution panel in Manila.
He was also directed to submit his counter-affidavit to the charges filed by the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on behalf of Arcillas.
“You are hereby warned that failure on your part to comply with the subpoena shall be considered as waiver of your right for investigation to verify and confirm the allegations of your complaint and the case shall be considered submitted for resolution based on the evidence on record,” said Assistant State Prosecutor Gino Paolo Santiago.
Arcillas claimed Trillanes conspired with Fr. Albert Alejo, lawyer Jude Sabio and a nun to detain her in two convents for 14 days in December 2016.
She was barred from going out until she signed what she said was a “ready-made” affidavit. She insisted the affidavit was destructive to the reputation of the Duterte administration.
Furthermore, the affidavit accuses Duterte of involvement in the drug trade.
Although Barrido’s account informed a separate complaint, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), lawyer for the CIDG, tried to introduce it as “additional” evidence to the sedition charges against Trillanes, Vice-president Leni Robredo, and more than 30 others earlier this month.
But the DoJ panel handling the sedition complaint rejected the attempt, saying the OSG itself had previously claimed that its original evidence — essentially the affidavit of Peter Joemel Advincula alias Bikoy — was sufficient to indict the respondents.
Arcillas was the same witness against Trillanes who claimed in 2017 that she was coached and bribed to testify that Duterte was involved in the drug trade.
Trillanes denied the accusation, saying it was Arcillas who volunteered the information against Duterte to Sabio way back in 2016 but that they decided she was not credible.