UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Philippines

Philippine Jesuit priest, Canossian nun face kidnap charges

Pair accused of helping anti-Duterte plotters force woman to sign statement linking president with drug trade

 Joe Torres, Manila

Joe Torres, Manila

Updated: August 30, 2019 06:53 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Philippine Jesuit priest, Canossian nun face kidnap charges

Jesuit priest Albert Alejo attends a "solidarity Mass" for Philippine church leaders linked to an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo by Jire Carreon) 

Share this article :
Philippine authorities have laid kidnapping charges against a Jesuit priest, a Canossian nun, and two other people for allegedly abducting a woman who was later “coerced into attempting to destroy the reputation" of the president.

The case was filed with the Department of Justice by police on Aug. 15, but was only revealed to the media by the police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group on Aug. 30.

Jesuit priest Albert Alejo is accused of taking a certain Davao resident called Guillermina Lalic Barrido to a Canossian convent in Manila and forcing her to sign an "affidavit to destroy the reputation" of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The crime allegedly occurred at the Canossian Sisters' convent in Quezon City on Dec. 6, 2016. In her complaint to the police, Barrido said she was held at the convent until Dec. 21, 2016.

Repeated attempts to contact Father Alejo for comment were not answered.

Also charged were former senator, Antonio Trillanes, lawyer Jude Josue Sabio, and a Sister Ling of the Canossian congregation.

In April 2017, Barrido held a press conference to claim she had been "coached" and bribed by Father Alejo, Trillanes, and Sabio to say the president was involved in the illegal drug trade.

Authorities claimed Barrido volunteered to submit her affidavit as part of the "inciting to sedition" charges earlier filed by police against several political opposition and church leaders.

The police alleged that it has become "the modus operandi" of the accused in getting people and seeing they surface on social media "to discredit a legitimate government."

"It is clear … [the accused] ferociously, maliciously, and intentionally put the complainant under detention for 14 days in order to force her to do something against her will," the police said in its complaint.

Trillanes has denied the allegation, saying it was Barrido who volunteered information against Duterte in 2016.

The former senator admitted that his staff met the woman to hear what she had to say, but they decided she was not credible.

In a statement sent to the media on Aug. 30, Trillanes called the complaint a clear "harassment case and persecution" of Duterte critics.

"Would you believe that a priest and a nun helped me kidnap her and that we detained her in a convent? Aside from that, she was supposedly kidnapped in 2016 but she's only filing a case now," said the former senator.

Philippine authorities earlier filed charges of inciting sedition, cyber libel, libel and obstruction of justice against four Catholic bishops, three priests, including Father Alejo, a religious brother, the country's vice president and 35 members of the opposition.

The charges stem from the release of a video that went viral on several social media platforms early this year that linked Duterte and his family to the illegal drug trade.

Authorities say the video, like the kidnap claim, is part of an elaborate plot to get rid of Duterte.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution