The Philippine Roman Catholic Church says it’s conducting a parallel investigation into the allegations as the police continue with their enquiries.The Church affirms it’ll cooperate fully with the police.In 2002, Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, then president of the politically powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – the episcopal hierarchy of the Church – apologised for the sins of the past committed by the Philippine priesthood.Some 200 priests, he claimed, over the past 20 years had indulged in “sexual misconduct”, including adultery, homosexuality, sexual abuse and child-sex.It also coincided with similar scandals involving Catholic clergy in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.The bishops resolved to draft a new protocol for dealing with such cases – including encouraging victims of assaults to file criminal charges.In 2003, at least 34 priests were suspended in a sex-abuse scandal involving sexual harassment of women.At least 20 of the priests involved came from a single diocese. Anne Parish in Tubay, Agusan del Norte province, Mindanao, was accused of sexually abusing and raping a 17-year-old female minor.
That was launched after the girl had told police that the man – she didn’t know he was a priest – during a previous meeting had threatened her with a gun and warned her not to meet other clients.
Pueblos – he was the bishop who, in 2009, famously requested then president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to give him a new car for his 66th birthday – refused.
But while he kept silent, one of his colleagues didn’t.
Parishioners of the historic John the Baptist Church at Tay Tay in the Diocese of Antipolo, in Rizal province, are endeavouring to come to terms with a scandal that’s shaken their community to the core.
Their parish priest, Monsignor Arnel Fuentes Lagarejos (photo), has been suspended after police arrested him on child-sex offences.