Cebu News

Priest “hitting” incident: Palma orders probe

The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has ordered Mosignor  Vicente Rey Penagonda, vicar general of the Cebu Archdiocese, to investigate the accusations against Dumanjug parish priest Fr. William Ybañez who reportedly hit a female clerk of a burger joint.

“Basta makadungog ko og mga isyu batuk sa kaparian ako gilayon kining aksiyonan. That’s why I tasked Monsignor Penagonda to make an immediate investigation especially he has experience in priestly ministry,” Palma said.

“Atong gilantaw niini ang hustisya ug kung unsay rekomendasyon para sa hustisya ug charity atong buhatan,” he added.

Bigmak Burger junction sales clerk Teresita Sambrana, 37, told police that Ybañez hit her head and grabbed her hair early morning Tuesday at the vicinity of the parish church.

Earlier, Sambrana and her manager wanted to get inside the church premises where the outlet was located to clean it. But the caretaker did not let them in so they had to destroy the padlock of the main gate.

Later, she said she was cleaning outside the joint when Ybañez hit her in the head and pulled her hair.

But Ybañez also filed a separate police report against Sambrana and others for destroying the padlock of the compound gate. The priest’s complaint report did not mention any physical confrontation.

Sambrana decided to take a rest from work first before deciding what to do regarding the incident.

Sambrana admitted that she and her workmate really broke the padlock but added they were just forced to do it because Ybañez refused to give them a copy of the key even after they asked permission from him.

“Tinuod jud to tanan nakong gisulti, daghan man pud ang nakakita kay sayo man to’s buntag unya daghan naman ang tawo. Kadungog man gani to sila na iya kong giingnan ‘Ikaw, isog ka diri? Buk-an tika’s ulo bisan magpalaban pa ka’s kapitan’,” she said.

“Naa man gani to’y usa nakakita nagtuo siya na akong bana. Paghawa ni Father, naluoy, iya kong giduol unya niingon siya na kuyogan ko niya og pa-blotter didto sa barangay,” Sambrana added.

Despite being allegedly assaulted, Sambrana said doesn’t know yet if she should file a case against Ybañez, but she said she wants to settle it as soon as possible without making the issue bigger.

“Wala pa gyud ko kahibawo, magpatambag pa ko kung unsay angay buhaton. Basta dili na gyud ko ganahan og samok, dili nako ganahan padak-on pa ni,” she added.

Her manager has already hired a lawyer to help them in filing a case against Ybañez, but Sambrana said she does not know the current developments since she went home to Alcantara town after the incident and her manager has not contacted her yet.

Sambrana said that if the priest wants to re-concile or settle the issue, she said that it will depend on what her manager decides.

Monsignor Joseph Tan, the spokesman of the Cebu Archdiocese said that as of the moment they have nothing to do yet since Sambrana filed her complaint through the civil court, not in the ecclesiastical court.

“Mahu’g ni siya nga hearsays pa because we just heard it from the news and there was no formal complaint coming from the authorities of the church. Since nidiretso man siya’g blotter didto sa police, ang mahitabo ani sundon lang sa ang process na himuon sa mga police authorities,” he said.

“If ever she asks help from us, we are here. If she will file a complaint to the church, we will conduct further investigation. We will let justice to be served because we all know nga dili jud angay ang modapat, bisa’g hinay ug kusog pa, the use of force is not right.” Tan added.

If it was filed through the ecclesiastical court, he said they will call the attention of priest for a preliminary investigation. Then they will have a physical check-up on the complainant to make sure she has no other injuries. This will be followed by a further investigation into the case. —/BRP (FREEMAN)





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