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CBCP suspends priest arrested while en route to motel with 13-yr-old girl

Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos, the priest arrested while about to enter a motel in Marikina City with a 13-year-old girl, has been suspended by the Catholic church.

Lagarejos was suspended as the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCB) has started its own investigation against the priest.

A 24 Oras report on Sunday said Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz had been assigned to lead the CBCP's probe against Lagarejos, who is now detained at the Marikina City jail and facing a complaint for violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

Lagarejos was arrested along with a 16-year-old pimp in Marikina City on Friday.

Police said the priest was arrested while about to enter a motel with a 13-year-old girl.

The entrapment operation was conducted after the girl's mother approached the police for help.

Cruz said that if Lagarejos is found guilty after the CBCP's investigation, he will be sent to Rome.

"Ang talagang parusa ng Simbahan, ang pagkapari mo, pagka-estadong pari mo ay aalisin sa 'yo," the bishop said.

Cruz said that Lagarejos has a clean record in the Diocese of Antipolo and the CBCP.

However, he believes that Lagarejos had committed the same sin in the past. —report from Tricia Zafra/ALG, GMA News