The priest caught at a motel with a 13-year-old lady has posted bail at present (Thursday, August 1), as church leaders vow there can be “no cover up”.
As we reported on Saturday, Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos, aged 55, was arrested in Marikina City for allegedly “booking” a [email protected] encounter with the underage lady via a teenage pimp.
Antipolo Bishop, Francisco de Leon, the bishop of Antipolo, has appointed retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, 83, to research the case in parallel to the police investigation.
In a diocesan assertion at present stated: “It will not in any way condone or abet the trafficking of persons, particularly of minors, nor protect the offenders from prosecution, and subsequent trial and punishment when the evidence so warrants.”
The diocese added that “condemns in the strongest terms possible the trafficking of persons.”
Lagarejos faces a human trafficking case after police caught him in an entrapment operation final Friday night.
Initial reviews recommended that he had pulled a gun on the arresting cops, however more moderen reviews have alleged that he had beforehand made his sufferer promise at gunpoint to maintain their encounters secret.
He was at present launched from custody after posting a 120,000 bail.
The diocese’s assertion continued: “Even as his guilt remains to be proven and the precepts of the Constitution grant him the presumption of innocence, the Diocese has taken every step to hold him answerable for the charges brought against him both before the Republic and before the Church.”
The assertion additionally confirmed his suspension, saying Lagarejos had been “relieved of all his pastoral assignments and is forbidden from having contact with all but his lawyer, his brother-priests, and church authorities.”
Lagarejos was president of Cainta Catholic College. He was additionally parish priest of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Poblacion, Taytay, Rizal, and the holder of a doctorate in ‘Moral Theology’.
Police stated, nonetheless, that Lagarejos initially recognized himself to them as being “self employed”.
The diocesan assertion continued: “He is particularly forbidden from any communication with minors and from maintaining company with them in any way whatsoever.”
For the 13-year-old lady, the Diocese provided counselling and psychological companies “in sincere love, affection, and compassion to the child”.
The diocese additionally stated that it acquired information of Lagarejos’ arrest “with sorrow, with sympathy for the trafficked child and her parents, but also with abiding faith in the God of mercy and compassion.”
The arrest is among the largest [email protected] to rock the Philippine Catholic Church lately. The church has usually been criticised for masking up abuse by clergymen, and in addition for transferring offenders from one parish to a different.
The case of Lagarejos follows frequent criticism from President Duterte for the “hypocrisy” of its abusive clergymen.
The president claims to have been molested by a Jesuit priest when he was in highschool.
Allegations have been circulating on social media that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Socrates Villegas had requested the lady’s mom to forgive Lagarejos. This has been denied
Nonetheless, the Diocese of Antipolo appealed for prayers for the erring priest in its assertion at present.
“As the Lord Jesus never gave up on even the most hateful of sinners, we do not give up on the priest concerned – in fact, on no one at all,” the Diocese of Antipolo stated.
“We shall, as a Diocese, continuously pray for renewal and conversion, for fidelity and for healing, just as we pray earnestly for the child and her family.”