Priest caught with young girl freed on P120,000 bail

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THE Marikina City Prosecutor’s Office allowed Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos, the priest caught with a 13-year-old girl while on the way to a motel over the weekend, to post bail and was released from detention at 2:49 p.m. on Tuesday.

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In a resolution, Prosecutors Nikolai Salinas, Ricardo Paet Jr. and Linda Adame-Conos granted Lagarejos’ petition and was allowed to post bail of P120,000.

Lagarejos is facing a complaint for violation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

The Prosecutors, however, did not recommend bail for the 16-year-old gay who allegedly pimped the 13-year-old girl to Lagarejos.

The alleged pimp, being a minor, is now under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Meanwhile, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro expressed disappointment over the prosecutors’ decision allowing Lagarejos to post bail.

“No bail for a pimp. It’s so disappointing. A retired justice allegedly intervened. I’m so pissed off. I was expecting no bail for the priest, but it was the pimp, a minor, who was not granted bail,” Teodoro told The Manila Times over the phone.

“It was made to appear that the priest only used a trafficked person and was not directly trafficking,” the mayor added, citing Section 11 of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.

On Monday, Teodoro gave assurance that there will be no whitewash of the case against the priest saying there was no pressure from the Catholic church.

Lagarejos was arrested in an entrapment on Friday night, along with a 16-year-old pimp, after a complaint was lodged by the girl’s mother at the Marikina Police Women and Children’s Desk.

He has been relieved of his duties as parish priest of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Taytay, Rizal and as president of Cainta Catholic College.

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