Priest runs over and kills kid but parents, police won’t press charges


CEBU CITY, Philippines—A four-year-old boy was killed Thursday evening when he was run over by Roman Catholic priest driving a pick-up truck on his way to say Mass at the Señor Sto. Niño Parish Church in Barangay Paknaan, Mandaue City, police said.

Fr. Pedro Lucio Dayag, 52, was released from detention at noon Friday after the parents s of Tris Vaughn Letrago decided not to press charges, Mandaue City Traffic investigator Ruben Cerdeña said.

Cerdeña said Tristan Lascano and Realuna Letrago signed an affidavit of desistance that indicated that they had no plans of filing criminal or civil case against the clergyman.

Dayag, a priest from the University of San Carlos (USC) Campus in Barangay Talamban, was driving a Mitsubishi Strada pick-up (plate number YJE 429), about 6:20 p.m. on his way to the Sto. Niño church to officiate at the Mass in celebration of its fiesta on February 2.

According to the police, the pick-up slowed down as Dayag was maneuvering from S. Jayme Street toward the private road leading to the church. At that time, Letrago was playing with a bamboo pole with other children beside the road near the church.

Cerdeña said the bamboo pole was accidentally thrown into the middle of the street and Letrago went after it. It was while he was picking it up that the boy was run over by the right rear wheel of the priest’s vehicle.

Cerdeña said Dayag did not notice that his vehicle had hit the boy until his attention was called by bystanders.

The priest disembarked from his vehicle. Together with the boy’s parents, he brought the boy to the hospital.

Cerdeña said the priest later surrendered to Insp. Ramil Morpos, the deputy chief of the Investigation and Detective Management Branch of the Mandaue City Police Office.

Cerdeña  said the traffic division was informed about the accident at 9:30 p.m. when Morpos called up and informed them that the priest was under his custody. The priest stayed at the police station.

Cerdeña said said the boy’’s relatives later decided to settle the matter and not to press charges.

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  • WeAry_Bat

    Clear accident ito, kahit mey konting galit ako sa church, I will not blame the priest.

    • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo


    • mad_as_Hamlet

      Can’t say anything about what really happened as we weren’t there. 

      But just out of curiosity I just checked with LTO a few minutes ago.  It appears that Mitsubishi Strada pick-up, 2010 model, color: claysoil beige, with plate number YJE 429, has no current registration.  It was last registered last 16 Sept 2010.

      It should not have been on the road, in the first place. I suppose readers here know how to check motor vehicle registration details through text.  If not, tell me.  I’ll post how.

      • prangka

        how? I am interested.

      • mad_as_Hamlet

        From my post, you would see that even the “color” of the vehicle is there, which is a detail not found in the news article. I live hundreds and hundreds of miles from Cebu, and in another island.  So, I think you saw, unlike our paranoid friend, that I wasn’t making up something.  Anyway, here it is—-

        The format is all caps. “LTOVEHICLE ” (no spaces for the plate number)

        Then send to “2600”.

        So, with respect to the vehicle that was being driven by the priest, it should look this way:  LTO VEHICLE YJE429  then send to 2600.

      • prangka

        Thank you. Very informative. 

      • mad_as_Hamlet

        Your’re welcome!

      • Mendoza_Juniors

         Really interesting ha? Snooping. Now we know a concerted effort to shame and destroy the Catholics.

      • mad_as_Hamlet

        You don’t like facts, do you?  I hope you are not one of those who just believe what’s told to them even if it is the most preposterous story in the world!

        First, it’s not snooping.  It’s a public service made available by the LTO to the public via SMS service.   It costs only Php2.50 per text inquiry.  I shall be posting how it’s done in reply to prangka who has more sense by not being ashamed to ask and learn.

        Don’t be paranoid, man!  Cast away your fear, bigotry and ignorance. 
        You can verify what I will be posting!

      • marionics

        you ask the guy if doesn’t like facts? how could he? he’s a catholic bwahahaha

      • mad_as_Hamlet

        LOL!  But shhh . .. he’s texting LTO. Concentrating. Spell-checking . Ha ha ha . . .

      • JV Velarde

        Di kaya parte yan nun mga pinamigiay ni Gloria sa mga mitsubishop galing PCSO, nun kapanahunan niya?? 

      • WeAry_Bat

        Palapit na tayong mga commentator maging CSI :)

  • reddfrog

    I wonder if the parents will be as forgiving if the driver is not a priest.


    NO ONE is above the LAW.

  • batmanlaijai

    Nakapatay si Fr…..  !!!!

  • Eric

    4yo pakalatkalat sa kalye. Dapat yung mga magulang ang ikulong. We need more public parks for these kids.
    Still I do not understand why you need to placed under custody. People spend a night in jail for hitting a jaywalker or anyone who’s not even supposed to be there?

    • panhase

      Well excuse me, a 4 year old boy is not a jaywalker.
      And what do you mean by “who´s not even supposed to be there”? He´s an innocent child.
      I am not talking about the accident. Accidents happen that´s why they are called accident.
      But kids do play in the streets, they did it before and they will continue to do that. It is normal and it is natural that kids explore their surroundings and the world, it´s part of growing up.
      If you want to prevent kids from playing in the streets then maybe we should build concentration camps for them.

      • Eric

        Haaaay. Sige na. Mangampanya ka na para kay Erap at UNA.

      • suroy_suroy

        I agree with everything you said. 

        Sometimes is the street for the kids not only their playground, it’s their living place, like beside the road to my neighborhood. Those parents leave 1 – 4 yrs. old kids all by themselves ON the streets to play.

      • robr

        The kid went under rear tire even here in the states the driver would not have been charged

  • Crazy_horse101010

    on  cebu 2 men fighting on sidewalk. one pushes the other out into traffic,turck hits and kills truck  driver goes to jail. last week speeding car on a curve cut the corner and took the whole inside lane. hits bus headon and dies. bus driver goes to jail. the picture was in paper and truck was innocent. 3 buses suspended for 3 months.this goes on every week drunk motorcycle drivers cross the line and hit cars headon,and get killed. car driver always goes to jail

    • suroy_suroy

      Thats justice in the Philippines only Filipinos can understand, they have their own logic.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        i guess what happened for people being responsible for their own actions., what do you do when you hit a tree cut the tree down and put in jail

  • mangtom

    Cerdeña said said the boy’’s relatives later decided to settle the matter and not to press charges.
    Comment: Did money pass hands or just a handshake? Also, what a coincidence: a Mitsubishi was involved in the accident. This priest is mitsubuwisit-driving a vehicle that is unregistered.  Maybe it is time to check mitsubishop vehicles for registration. 

    Let us give credit to the mitsubishop priest for not leaving the scene of the accident and by giving assistance to the victim. 

  • pilipino

    Might as well run over some priests or Damaso’s around, and have their family sign a waiver or affidavit of desistance? Would it be fair also, as in this case?

    • oki_mike100

      It was his rear wheel thst struck the child… doesn’t that tell you something?

  • jakemaverick

    accidents are soemtimes just accidents….sounds unfair to make him a criminal as well, if that is what really happened….
    somehow i wonder if whole truth not here though

  • Gonzaimon

    Why do news organizations take an accident and write headlines that make it sound as if the priest deliberately ran the boy over? Oh yeah, it sells the story better. My mistake. 

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