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Trillanes denies kidnap charges

Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Friday denied the kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges filed against him by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and described them as “a clear case of harassment and persecution” against President Duterte’s critics.

The Philippine National Police-CIDG filed the charges against Trillanes and several others for allegedly keeping a businesswoman in two convents from Dec. 6 to 21, 2016, in an attempt to force her to sign a “ready-made” testimony linking the President to drug syndicates and extrajudicial killings.

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Also charged were lawyer Jude Sabio, Fr. Albert Alejo, a certain Sister Ling of the Convent of Canossian Sisters, and several John Does and Jane Does.

In a text message, Trillanes said he had “never met” the supposed kidnap victim, Guillermina Lalic Barrido alias Guillermina Arcillas, and cast doubts on the police’s claims, particularly on its timing.

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“She was supposedly kidnapped in 2016, but the case was only filed now,” he said.

“My information was that she volunteered to testify against Mr. Duterte. But the story was full of holes and she allegedly asked for money in exchange for her testimony. So she was rejected as a witness,” Trillanes said.

“After she failed to get money, she switched sides,” he added.

Barrido surfaced in April 2017 and accused Trillanes, Sabio and Alejo of using social media to link the President to illegal drugs, corruption, and other wrongdoings.

Sabio, in a statement, denied Barrido’s allegations.

The charges are the latest of several cases filed by the government against its critics and opposition figures.

Vice President Leni Robredo, several lawyers, bishops and priests have been charged with sedition for alleged involvement in the making of “The Real Narcolist” videos linking the President and his family to illegal drugs.

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Outspoken Duterte critic Trillanes had earlier accused the President of hiding millions in ill-gotten wealth in secret bank accounts, while Sabio had asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Mr. Duterte and other officials for the extrajudicial killings that became part of his administration’s war on drugs,

In her three-page sworn statement to the CIDG, Barrido, 43, of Panabo City, Davao del Norte, also linked an alleged staff of the Vice President to the kidnapping.

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TAGS: Antonio Trillanes IV, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Fr. Albert Alejo, Jude Sabio, Kidnapping
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