Cebu priest jailed for hitting girl
CEBU CITY—A 61-year-old priest in Mandaue City is now behind bars for allegedly hitting the 15-year-old daughter of his cook on Wednesday afternoon.
The girl had allegedly neglected to feed the priest’s pet Labrador.
Rev. Fr. Decoroso Olmilla of The Nativity of Mary Parish at Barangay Canduman, was arrested and detained at the police station after allegedly hitting the girl on the butt with a box and kicking her.
A concerned citizen reported the incident, said PO1 Jinelyn Formentera of the Canduman police station’s women and children’s protection desk.
The girl had gone around the neighborhood to solicit gifts, Formentera said.
Not first time
“The priest started looking for her because his dog had not been fed. When she arrived at the priory around 6 p.m., the priest reprimanded and brought her to his office where he cursed and hit her,” the police officer added.
According to Formentera, the mother told the police that it was not the first time that the priest had hurt her daughter.
“It has been going on for a long time. He hits the child on the head,” Formentera said, quoting the mother who lives in the priory with her daughter.
After the incident, the girl sought help from their neighbors who, in turn, called the police.
Olmilla was arrested at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
The girl was taken to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center for medical examination, Formentera said.
On Friday, the girl’s mother filed a complaint for violation of Republic Act No. 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) against the priest.
Formentera said the police were waiting for bail recommendation at 4 p.m. Friday.
Police said Olmilla had earlier admitted hitting the child, although he refused to give any statement to reporters.
Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cebu, said he visited Olmilla in his detention cell on Thursday afternoon.
“I am not familiar with the circumstance of the case because we did not speak about that. However, the archdiocese respects our justice system [and] will abide by the legal measures that may come up,” Tan said in a separate interview.
He said Olmilla would have to provide for his legal needs in the case since the matter was “personal.”
“But the archdiocese is willing to help should he ask for it,” Tan said.
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