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12 Priests to be Reassigned After Duterte Threatened to Expose Church Scandals

At least twelve Filipino priests will be reassigned in various provinces and cities this coming July, an official of Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) confirmed Monday, June 18. This is after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to expose the alleged scandals and corruption inside the Catholic Church in the country.


“Totoo po. Maraming mga pari ngayon ang marere-assign sa iba’t ibang lugar sa bansa. Pero gusto lang namin iparating sa publiko na hindi ito dahil sa banta ang ating pangulo na isisiwalat niya daw ang alegasyon ng korapsyon sa Simbahan at mga di kanais-nais na mga gawi ng ilang pari.” CBCP Vice President Bp. Pablo Virgilio S. David said in a radio interview.

“It’s true. There are several priests who will re-assigned in different areas in the country. But then, we would like to emphasize that this has nothing to do with the threat of the president that he will expose the alleged corruption inside the Church and the misconduct of a few priests.)

“Parang sa pulisya at military, nagkakaroon din kami ng mga reassignments usually tuwing gitna ng taon o January. Maraming dahilan dito. Una, yung demand. Alam naman natin na kulang na tayo sa pari. Ikalawa, tinitignan din kasi natin ang kung bagay pa yung pari doon sa kultura ng tao ng iniaatas sa kanyang lugar.” He added.

(Just like in the police and military, we also have reassignments usually every middle of the year and December. There are several reasons for this. First, the demand. We all know that we lack priests. Second, we also check if a priest is compatible with the culture of the people in the area where he was assigned.)

With respect to the priests being accused of sexual harassment and other unlawful acts, David noted that the Catholic Church is very serious in their investigation and that they are following a protocol on how to handle such cases. Although he did provide further information, David admitted that some abusive priests are being transferred to another place.

Last Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that Duterte’s verbal attacks against the Catholic Church should not be linked with the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo in Nueva Ecija – the third priest who was murdered since December 2017. Nevertheless, the Church has been criticizing the president on his war against drugs.

Contributed by Renato Pasayao

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