MANILA - The Philippine National Police said Tuesday it has yet to speak to a priest in Cavite province who was found tied up in a car in the town of Silang on Sunday.
PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said this is because the victim's family asked to let him have some personal time to recuperate.
"As per my coordination sa hepe po doon, hanggang ngayon hindi pa po nila nakakausap si Fr... because the family requested for some privacy at accordingly, nagpapahinga at nagpapalakas si Fr.," Fajardo said.
(As per our coordination with the Chief of Police [in Cavite], they haven't spoken to Fr... because the [his] family requested for some privacy. Accordingly, the priest is undergoing recuperation.)
The PNP said that they are also still waiting for clearance from the Diocese of Imus before giving out a public statement on the case.
But Fajardo added authorities had already made a request for the priest's cellphone so investigators could gain more leads on the case.
The PNP spokesperson noted that the priest was acting unusual in the days leading up to his disappearance, based on interviews with his relatives.
"Even yung kanyang family, although a few days bago po siya na-report na nawala, ang sinasabi po ng pamilya, parang may mga sinasabi si Father na nagbilin sa mga kapatid, 'O, bahala na kayo. 'Yung mga business natin, huwag niyo pabayaan'. Other than that, wala silang nare-receive na anumang banta or threat," Fajardo said.
(Before his went missing, his family said that he was already asking his siblings to take care of things for him. He would say, 'It's all up to you now,' or 'Don't forget to take care of our businesses.' Other than that, they haven't received any threats.)
The police are currently looking for more security footage of the incident.
"Napadaan po yung sasakyan, nakita po sa CCTV because apparently isa po yun sa mga shortcut routes ng sasakyan na pupuntahan niya para bumili ng kandila, kasi yun po ang ibinigay niyang dahilan nung siya ay umalis doon sa kaniyang simbahan - na siya ay bibili lamang ng kandila," Fajardo said.
(The car the priest was found in was seen on a CCTV footage. Apparently, it was on one of the shortcut routes it took supposedly to buy candles. The reason he supposedly said why he was leaving the church is because he is buying candles.)
The victim is reported to be a parish priest in the town of Rosario, Cavite. Authorities said they did not immediately speak to the victim because he was found to be in a "state of shock."