DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A Liberal Party supporter turned whistleblower surfaced on Wednesday, claiming she was paid to execute an affidavit against President Rodrigo Duterte by his vocal critics, senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila De Lima.
Guillermina Barrido Arcilla, who claims to be the niece of city councilor Pilar Braga, said she was offered P500,000 if she signs an affidavit implicating Duterte in the illegal drug business.
Arcilla said she would be given another P500,000 if she testifies in the International Criminal Court.
Arcilla said the same offers were given to retired policeman Arthur Lascañas and self-confessed Davao Death Squad hit man Edgar Matobato.
She was supposed to be presented with them but she said she did not sign the affidavit.
Arcilla said Trillanes and the Liberal party were now trying to use the drugs angle because the the issue of extrajudicial killings no longer sells with the public.
“Nagtanong ako bakit drugs. Kasi nga hindi na daw maniniwala ang mga tao sa EJK. So dapat, yung drugs naman,” (I asked them why use drugs [in the statement]. They said it was because the people no longer believe in the EJKs), she said.
Arcilla said she only agreed to support the Liberal Party because of a single incident in December 2015 when Duterte had failed to act on a favor she asked of him.
Arcilla said she and Duterte were never very close, but she had a direct line to him through his aide, Christopher “Bong” Go.
She also disclosed that she was advised by friends to continue dealing with the group, saying she could one day divulge the information if need be.
Arcilla said she received varying amounts of money throughout her time as a “paid critic.” She claimed Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ once left her envelope containing P 20,000 as payment. In other instances, her payment would be folded among tissue papers in restaurants where she, Alejo and Matobato’s lawyer, Atty. Jude Sabio would eat.
Arcilla said she received a total of P300,000, excluding the payment of one million-peso offer if she testified in the senate and the ICC.
Arcilla recounted that Alejo first called her sometime in September 2016 to make the proposal. She said Alejo had close relations with De Lima.
Arcilla also claimed she met De Lima and Trillanes in person when she went to Manila in December 2016. She said De Lima had assured her that she would be well taken cared of, just like Matobato.
It was also around this time that she met Lascañas and Matobato where they all stayed in two convents in Manila. She claimed she was prevented from speaking with anyone.
She said she was provided with a rehearsed script of what she was supposed to say to the sisters.
Arcilla said Trillanes made her record rehearsed conversations on the phone as evidence on November 2016 should she turn on them.
Arcillas said Trillanes wanted to make it look like she went to them for money. She said it was the other way around.
“Nirerecord nila sa audio yung pinagsasabi namin para matakot kami na bumaliktad daw” (They recorded everything we said so that we would be afraid to turn on them), she said.< Arcillas claimed the same was also done to Lascañas and Matobato.
Arcilla said she received P 35,000 through a local money courier so that she could be “transferred” to Cagayan de Oro City where she would be presented to international media.
Arcilla said Alejo regarded her as a convincing witness because of her ties to Braga, as well as because she was a woman.
Arcilla said she put a stop to her dealings with the group after she read the affidavit, which was prepared by Atty. Jude Sabio, lawyer of self-confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Edgar Matobato. Arcilla said the affidavit was revised 15 times because it had to go through the approval of Trillanes and De Lima.
The said affidavit alleged that Arcilla herself saw Duterte kill a person sometime in May 2012 with Braga. It also recounted details about Duterte and his son, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte’s dealings with drugs. The affidavit also suggested that Duterte and Braga’s relationship at one point, were more than just as colleagues.
Arcilla said she is willing to execute a sworn affidavit anytime. She said she is also willing to face a senate inquiry if she would be invited.
“For the first time, masabi ko sa sarili ko na may nagawa akong tama,” (For the first time, I could say to myself that I did something right), Arcilla said.(davaotoday.com)