Police drop charges against student shooter

Victim's mother reaches settlement with Philippine college priest

Police drop charges against student shooter
Students at Colegio de San Antonio de Padua in Danao (Photo courtesy of CSA)
ucanews.com reporter, Danao City, Philippines

February 11, 2011

Authorities in the central Philippine city of Danao have dropped charges against a Catholic priest who shot a student earlier this week. Danao City police chief, Superintendent Eddie Recamara said they were forced to drop a frustrated homicide case against Colegio de San Antonio de Padua school chaplain, Father Jonathan Durano Lao, after the mother of the victim agreed to an out-of-court settlement. Bernardita Ymbong, mother of the victim, signed an agreement stating that they will not press charges if the priest pays for her son’s hospital bills and school tuition. Father Lao was reportedly testing his brand new air rifle when it went off accidentally, hitting 19-year-old Mark Robert Cecilio Ymbong. Cebu archdiocese spokesman Monsignor Achilles Dakay, said priests are allowed to own guns “if they have a license.” He said Church authorities were investigating whether Father Lao, who is originally from the United States, has a license or not. Monsignor Esteban Binghay, a Canon lawyer, said Church officials can question Father Lao for owning an air rifle. He did not say whether Father could face any disciplinary action. Related reports Filipino priest shoots student Filipino priest suspended for alleged misconduct PV13249.1640