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3 back abuse allegations vs Olango priest

Kristine B. Quintas and Christell Fatima M. Tudtud (The Freeman) - December 23, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – At least three parishioners from Olango Island in Lapu-Lapu City confirmed allegations that their parish priest can be abusive.

A resident of the island earlier filed a complaint and asked the Cebu Archdiocese to investigate the priest.

One of the parishioners told The FREEMAN that the priest indeed strangled an altar boy when the latter asked that they forgo their Christmas party at the parish.

The priest allegedly shouted at the altar boy: “Buang ka, pisti ka, layas!”

Another parishioner, a 30-year-old woman, also said the priest has a reputation of being “cruel” and has since been criticized by many parishioners because of his unjust behavior.

“Casual ra man na sa iya ang mangasaba bisan tunga sa misa. Dili raman pud na first time nga nanapat siya apan kadtong panghitabo pwersa na gyud,” she said.

She even described the priest as “demonyo” for hurting the altar boy.

“Kun alagad ka sa Ginoo, dapat modelo ka mura kag Santo Papa. Siya motabang aron moluwas among kalag pero sa iyang gibuhat manapat og acolytes ug lay ministers, maninghag sa parokyano… dili makatarungan,” she said.

“Kaming mga parokyano sa Olango sobra ra kaayo mi katahod sa among pari bisan gisinghagan mi, bisan hapakon pa, bisan bitaron pa mi. Di unta siya mag ingon ana,” the woman added.

Despite the alleged maltreatment, the altar boy reportedly still serves at the parish.

“Pero ni-serve gihapon kay dili man si father ang among gi-serve kundi ang Ginoo,” the woman said.

In an interview with The Freeman earlier, the boy alleged that the priest strangled him in the afternoon of December 13 after he asked to use the P1,000 budget for their Christmas party for fare in going to Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu City for a scheduled pilgrim sponsorship.

Around 20 of the acolytes of the parish, lay ministers and choir are set to be pilgrim sponsors at the Basilica on January 12 in support of the celebration of the feast of Sr. Sto Niño de Cebu on the 18th.

The boy has quoted the Olango priest being complained of: “Di mahimo. Wa’y magbuot nako kay ako ng kwarta. Ayaw pagbuot.”

The priest was further quoted as saying, “Kinsa ka? Kinsa ka? Yawa ka! Pahawa diri. Layas diri ug ayaw na pag-sacristan.”

It was at this point when the priest allegedly choked the boy, something that the other acolytes witnessed.

Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño rector Fr. Jonas Mejares confirmed that he invited the Olango parish to be pilgrim sponsors at the Basilica when he went to Olango last February.

When Mejares was informed about the problem of the Olango parishioners, he said that if the allegations are true, the parishioners should pray for the priest, rather than condemn him.

“Ideally, dili gyud unta angay buhaton sa usa ka pari, who supposed to be siya unta ang example sa mercy and compassion. Kung nabuhat gyud na niya, naa gyud circumstances, angay nato siyang ampoan kay dinha man nato makita ang kahuyang sa pari nga tawo ra gyud siya,” Mejares said.

Mejares said it is not easy to be a parish priest and the life of a priest is difficult because when they encounter problems in an emotional aspect, weakness will emerge.

He said the  altar boy, who was allegedly strangled  by the Olango parish priest, met him yesterday and told him of the priest’s actions.

“Gi-repeat sa bata nga wala intawon sila’y kapamlete, mao ilahang gamiton aron mu-attend anang misaha ,” Mejares said.

“Well, tan-awon gyud ang gravity ana, tanawon pud na siya ang circumstances behind, kung tinuod. Kung habitual, there must be something wrong ug kinahanglan nga i-correct siya,” Mejares said.

The concerned parishioner who wrote the Archdiocese has asked for the parish priest’s suspension.  The Archdiocese promised to look into the allegations after the International Eucharistic Congress next month. — /JMO (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ANG ATILDE BASILICA MINORE BOY CEBU ARCHDIOCESE CEBU CITY MEJARES OLANGO PARISH PRIEST
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