Negros Oriental – The family of the slain civic lawyer of Guihulngan and San Carlos City Atty Anthony Trinidad, 53, has vehemently denied that their brother has links with the Communist rebels which could have precipitated his fatal ambush last Tuesday.
In an interview with his sister Andrea by phone in Manila, she said that they are very close and would know their respective advocacies. She also said that her brother helped all kinds of people. He helped the poor, police officers, and government workers who seek legal assistance.
“In fact, one policeman whom Anthony helped return to the service has called to condole with us, “ said the grieving sister.
Anthony is second of eight siblings. Since their parents have already died, they have remained close despite the distance, saying in touch by phone, email, and social media.
As a physics teacher in his town of Guihulngan, Anthony helped the cause of teachers’ welfare.
“But for goodness’ sake, he did not take part in plots to over throw the government. He worked with government, with Congress and chief of staff of Cong. Marcial Punzalan of Quezon Province. Anthony was retained as lawyer of former Congressman Jerome Paras of the first district of Negros Oriental,” Andrea said.
The victim’s sister, who works in Manila, used to volunteer in the campaign of Christian leader Party List Rep. Brother Eddie Villanueva and consequently Villanueva’s son, now Sen. Joey Villanueva.
Andrea is also a former reporter of the Inquirer. She is still in Manila and keeps in touch with top military and PNP officials including Gen. Abayalde.
The family is currently working with the PNP to bring the assassin of his brother to justice.
The Trinidad family issued a public statement regarding the incident disclaiming any red links by his slain brother. Novie, Anthony’s wife, is now recuperating from bullet wounds since she was with Anthony during the incident.
One theory of the probers is that since four policemen were brutally murdered last July 18, the Trinidad murder could be a retaliation even if those involved do not really know Trinidad as a person.
The Guihulngan chief of police, Lt Col Bonifacio Tecson, disclosed that the victim had recently sought police protection after receiving written text threats on his life. The threats were made by a group calling themselves KAGUBAK or the Kausa Guihulnganon Batok Kumonista. The hit list included Trinidad’s name to the surprise of his family.
Andrea said, Anthony has always been focused in his legal profession and part time teaching physics in his alma mater, St Francis Academy. He lives in San Carlos and his legal firm covers areas mostly in the north of Negros island.
FAMILY STATEMENT .
Below is the statement of the victim’s family:
“LAST July 23 at around 2pm, our brother Atty. Anthony Trinidad, was ambushed and killed on the spot while on his way home from a hearing. His wife, Novie Marie, who was with him, was wounded and still recuperating in the hospital.
“The incident happened in broad day light along the national highway of our hometown, Guihulngan City. We are still at a loss on the motives behind this dastardly act because our brother was such a kind-hearted, soft-spoken person who was willing to go out of his way to help people in need.
“We do not want to speculate on the motives behind his death nor who the perpetrators are. We leave it to authorities to do their job. We are appealing to the government to please help us seek justice for our brother and get the perpetrators behind jail the soonest possible time.
“This spate of killings in our country and the culture of violence have to stop. We cannot and should not constantly live in fear. Stop the killings.”
For any information regarding the incident, one can reach the Trinidad Family at 09153062273.