Priest caught with 13-year-old girl released on bail

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2017 08:02 AM | Updated as of Aug 02 2017 08:30 AM

MANILA - The priest who was caught bringing a 13-year-old girl into a motel was released after posting bail of P120,000, the Marikina police chief said Wednesday.

Senior Superintendent Roger Quesada, Marikina police chief, said Msgr. Arnel Fuentes Lagarejos is facing charges of violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 after allegedly attempting to have sex with a teenager he was about to meet through a pimp who is also a minor.

He said Chief Superintendent Romulo Sapitula, Eastern Police District director, has ordered a thorough investigation of the case following reports that the priest already met with the minor twice and had sex with her once.

In a separate interview, Metro Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde explained why Lagarejos was sued for trafficking and not rape.

"'Yung nangyari kasi dito wala pa kasing lumalabas na intercourse pero nasa loob na sila ng [motel]. Kaya parang human trafficking," he told ABS-CBN News.

He, however, said a rape case can still be filed by the minor's parents, Department of Social Welfare and Development or the Philippine National Police. "The victim is a minor," he pointed out.

Lagarejos, 55, was arrested in an entrapment operation last Friday in a mall along Sumulong Highway.

The priest was earlier stripped of his duties as parish priest of St. John the Baptist Parish and as president of Cainta Catholic College.