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PNP: Cavite priest told kin to watch over their businesses before going missing

/ 04:11 PM April 06, 2022
PNP: Cavite priest told kin to watch over their businesses before going missing

Facade of the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame. Image from pnp.gov.ph website

MANILA, Philippines — The Cavite-based priest who went missing and was found tied up inside his vehicle has apparently left some instructions and reminders to relatives before he left his parish, a Philippine National Police (PNP) official revealed.

In a press conference on Wednesday, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said they are still unable to establish a clear motive as to why Rev. Fr. Leoben Peregrino came to being tied up in his car which was parked in Silang, Cavite, as relatives are still asking for privacy amid the priest’s condition.

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Fajardo said no demand for ransom was received, but Peregrino supposedly told his relatives to look after their businesses before going missing.

“From the time na nawala si Father wala naman pong na-receive na demand for ransom ‘yong kanyang parish church, ‘yong kanyang malalapit na kaibigan po doon at sa kanyang simbahan, even ‘yong family po,” she said.

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(From the time that the priest went missing, the parish church, his close friends and co-workers, and even his family have not received any demand for a ransom.)

“Although a few days na bago po siya nai-report na nawala, ang sinasabi po ng pamilya […] may mga sinasabi si Father na nagbilin sa kanyang mga kapatid na ‘o bahala na kayo , ‘yong mga business natin ‘wag niyong pabayaan’.  Other than that wala silang ‘ika nga nare-receive na anumang banta or threat ‘ika nga, wala naman dahilan para kidnapin or i-abduct si Father,” she added.

(Although a few days before he was reported missing, the family said that the priest issued some reminders, telling his siblings that they should tend after their family’s businesses.  But other than that they have not received any threat or any reason why someone would abduct the priest.)

When pressed whether the police are pursuing this angle — with the absence of any statement from the victim himself — Fajardo said they are not yet jumping to a specific conclusion.

“At this point in time no, we are not discounting any angle dito sa ating ginagawang investigation kaya nga sabi ko earlier, we are really trying our best to reach out to the family kasi malaking bagay na makausap po natin ng personal si Father para ibigay po niya ‘yong accounts niya from the time he left ‘yong kanyang simbahan, until the time na siya po ay natagpuan,” she said.

(At this point in time no, we are not discounting any angle dito in our investigation, that is why I said earlier that we are really trying our best to reach out to the family because talking personally to the priest and having him give his account of the story would be a big help to us.)

Peregrino was reported missing last Saturday, and was found unconscious and tied inside his vehicle on Sunday, April 3.  People from his church said that the priest only left the parish in Rosario town to buy candles, but did not return home until he was found.

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The priest’s family has requested privacy to allow Peregrino to recover, as he was found visibly weakened and dazed.

READ: Still no lead on why Cavite priest went missing as cops await clearance for interviews

As to rumors that the maltreatment of the priest was connected to cockfighting or sabong issues, Fajardo clarified that the priest only passed by the establishment because it was an alternate route to the area where he was supposed to buy candles.

“That is part of backtracking efforts na kinonduct po ng Rosario, Cavite, dahil lahat nga po ng possible na dinaanan (tinignan).  Napadaan po ‘yong sasakyan, nakita po doon sa CCTV because apparently isa po ‘yon sa mga shortcut route ng sasakyan na pupuntahan niya para bumili ng kandila,” Fajardo explained.

(That is part of backtracking efforts that the Rosario police are conducting because all possible angles are being scrutinized. The car passed by the establishment, it was seen on the CCTV because apparently, it was a shortcut route to the candle shop that he was supposed to visit.)

KGA

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TAGS:  PNP, Abduction, Cavite, Col. Jean Fajardo, Phil‎ippine National Police, Philippine news updates, Rev. Fr. Leoben Peregrino, Rosario, Silang
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