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Philippine mayor wants sex-scandal priest back in custody

Marikina politician makes court bid to have Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos’s bail revoked

Philippine mayor wants sex-scandal priest back in custody

Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos of Antipolo Diocese was arrested by Philippine police on July 28 and charged with human trafficking. (Contributed photo)


August 11, 2017

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The mayor of the city where a Catholic priest was arrested for human trafficking last month wants the monsignor back in custody.

Marcy Teodoro, mayor of Marikina, has told the city's legal department to file a motion before the court for Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos's bail to be revoked.

Lagarejos, from Antipolo Diocese, is facing human trafficking charges after being caught with a 13-year-old girl last month, was granted US$3,000 bail on Aug. 1.

Teodoro also ordered the removal of the head of the city police's Women and Children Protection Desk, for what he said was her poor handling of the case.

The mayor said he was disappointed at how the police and prosecutors handled the case resulting in the priest being released on bail.

"I'm so p****d off. I was expecting no bail for the priest, but it was the pimp … who was not granted bail," said Teodoro.

"It's so disappointing," said the mayor, adding that, "it was made to appear that the priest only used a trafficked person and was not directly trafficking."

Church officials, meanwhile, said that the investigation into the priest's conduct would be "fair and impartial."

Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who heads the church's investigation team, said their findings would be submitted to the Vatican which will decide the fate of the monsignor.

Lagarejos was caught in a police entrapment operation with a girl he allegedly met through a pimp on social media.

The operation was conducted supposedly to apprehend minors involved in prostitution. Initial investigations revealed that a 16-year-old pimp brokered the deal between the priest and the girl.

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