A DABAWENYA appeared before the media on Wednesday, April 5, accusing Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima of bribing her to testify against President Rodrigo Duterte at the International Criminal Court. Guillermina "Grace" Barrido Arcillas appeared at the AFP-PNP press conference held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City accusing Trillanes and de Lima of offering P1 million for her testimony against Duterte, adding that she already received an initial payment of P300,000. During the press conference, Arcillas showed a cellphone photo of her and Fr. Albert Alejo, who, she said, was the one who approached her to testify against the President. Asked what attracted Arcillas to the Liberal Party, she said that sometime in December 2015, she sought assistance from Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City, but was not granted help. Arcillas said that it was Fr. Alejo who first sought her out based on her rabid anti-Duterte rants on Facebook and her being from Davao City with apparent ties to local officials, particularly City Councilor Pilar Braga, whom she claims to be her aunt. She said that De Lima and Trillanes decided that she can be a witness on illegal drugs and extrajudicial killings. She added that the senators met up with her in December 2016.
She said that all their phone conversations were recorded as evidence against her should she back out from the deal. Arcillas said that she went to Manila between September to December 2016 to sign an affidavit, which was revised 15 times. However, she decided to back out after reading the final draft. When contacted through text, Fr. Alejo denied the allegations, saying: "I have not watched Mina's presscon in full. But it pains me to hear that she's accusing me of bribing her to testify against Pres. Duterte. She knows in her heart that this is lie. But it's hard to text these complex issues." In a separate telephone conversation, Fr. Alejo said, Arcillas was referred to him by one Perry or Ferry Fajardo, whom he only knows as a person from the academe in Cebu. He added that it was Arcillas who was demanding money from them and not the other way around. When contacted, Councilor Braga admitted that she knows Arcillas as a relative, although she said, they are not blood relatives. Braga said that they are not close and it was Arcillas who introduced herself as a relative around three years ago. From what can be seen of Arcilla's posts on social media, Arcillas has been against Duterte long before Duterte became President.