BARREDO MAINTAINS INNOCENCE IN MOLESTATION RAP, GIVES SIDE TO GMA

Manila, June 21, 2003 By Abac Cordero (STAR) Mike Barredo, the PSC commissioner being accused by a Baguio City janitress of molestation, yesterday said he has written President Arroyo to explain his side on the brewing controversy.

"Iíve sent a letter to the President saying what Iíve stated before Ė my innocence and how the issue has affected me and my family," Barredo, who also heads the national association for the differently abled athletes, told The STAR over the telephone.

Barredo is hoping that the letter has reached President Arroyo, but said he has no information yet whether or not the Chief Executive would want him to explain his side personally.

For the meantime, Barredo, who suffered visual impairment after a vehicular accident in front of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in 1979, is carrying on with his duties at the government sports agency to where he was appointed by the President last year.

As much as possible, the 48-year-old commissioner would want to remain silent on the issue and just take things as they come.

Barredo has denied molesting a 22-year-old janitress inside his room at the Teacherís Camp in the morning of June 8, and said heís ready to face any charges.

"But itís not yet clear what Iím being charged of. The formal complaint states the janitress only felt she was sexually harassed. But I think sexual harassment is only an employer-employee thing. Right now Iím still wondering," said Barredo.

The Prosecutorís Office in Baguio, sources said, issued a subpoena to Barredo yesterday, giving the former La Salle athlete 10 days upon his receipt to answer the charges.

Barredo said he has yet to receive the subpoena said to be issued by Assistant City Prosecutor Margarita Manalo.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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