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Mom of 13-year-old girl caught with priest getting calls to drop case


 

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly solicited for prostitution by Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos said she has been receiving threatening calls telling her to drop her case against the priest.

"Tumatawag regarding doon sa case namin na, hangga't maaari, i-urong namin iyong reklamo," the mother said told Tricia Zafra in a report on "24 Oras" on Tuesday.

"Pero desidido po ako na hindi, kasi buhay ng anak ko't kinabukasan sinira niya," she added.

The priest faces charges for violating RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act). He is free on bail of P120,000.

The mother said the caller introduced himself as a police officer named Major Rosales or Rogales.

P/C Insp. Melanie Redon of the Marikina Police's Women and Children's Protection Desk said there were no officers named Rosales or Rogales stationed in their precinct.

The mother said her child had been involved with Lagarejos for a month.

"Noong nahuli nga iyong pari, doon niya ni-reveal na naging customer niya, at humahawak siya ng halos one month," she said.

The mother added that Lagarejos was armed whenever he took her child to motels.

"Everytime na magkasama sila sa isang motel, lagi niyang dala raw yung baril, yun ang banggit ng anak ko," she added.

The mother said she shared the guilt for having a hand in her daughter's activities. The minor reportedly ran away from home in rebellion when her parents separated.

The mother said she didn't know about her child's activities until the girl returned in June to confess.

"Magbabago na raw siya, hindi na raw niya uulitin, pero noong huli tumatakas pa rin siya sa akin," she said.

"Doon ko napagisip-isip na ko gusto ko sana siyang dalhin sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development)," she added.

After learning that minor had a record for curfew violation, social workers initiated the entrapment operation which caught Lagarejos red-handed. She was reportedly pimped out by a 16-year-old friend.

Lagarejos has been suspended by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. —Margaret Claire Layug/JST, GMA News

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