Following the arrest in the Philippines of Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos, above, for procuring a 13-year-old girl for sex, the Diocese of Antipolo asked for ‘prayers’ for the 55-year-old.
According to this report, priest from a parish in Taytay, Rizal, was arrested on Friday night for allegedly “booking” a 13-year-old girl with the help of a 16-year-old gay pimp, who was also arrested.
The following day Antipolo Bishop Francisco de Leon, above, said in a message that Lagarejos has been relieved of all duties in his diocese.
In a statement, the Diocese of Antipolo said it is looking into the arrest of Lagarejos:
As allegedly identified as a suspect in an entrapment operation in Marikina City. Thus, we assure the public that we respect the necessary procedures as provided by law in order to further investigate the matter.
Refrain from issuing unnecessary comments that might worsen the situation. Instead, we appeal for all the faithful to pray that the truth may come out.
Lagarejos was President of Cainta Catholic College (CCC). He was also parish priest of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Poblacion, Taytay, Rizal.
He holds a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and a licentiate in theology from the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City.
The priest, however, initially identified himself to the police as “self employed” when he was nabbed taking the girl to a motel after he paid the pimp 500 pesos (£7.55).
He is being investigated for allegedly violating the country’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.