Man claiming to be priest nabbed for possession of illegal drugs in N. Cotabato
MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato—A man claiming to be a Catholic priest was arrested by police for possession of illegal drugs and for allegedly duping several persons on Sunday, police said Monday.
Supt. Tom Tuzon, Midsayap town police chief, identified the suspect as John Ferolin who went around and identifying himself as “Fr. John.”
“He is in our illegal drug personality watch list,” Tuzon said, adding that the man was placed under surveillance for some time.
After the suspect’s whereabouts were confirmed, Tuzon said he organized an arresting team to effect the arrest.
On Sunday, at around 6 a.m., police operatives raided the house of “Fr. John” in Barangay (village) Katinggawan, also in Midsayap.
He did not resist arrest, however, he insisted that he was a “holy man.”
“He insisted he was a priest and that he should not be arrested,” Tuzon said.
Ferolin claimed he is a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco congregation, a Roman Catholic religious institute based in Manila, however, he could not present any evidence or document to support such.
Later, Ferolin admitted that he was on a year-long “exposure” to the outside world after his seminary days before he will be ordained and that he has never been a priest.
Tuzon said the are coordinating with the Salesians of Don Bosco congregation to verify Ferolin’s claim.
“But he has to face charges for possession of illegal drugs,” he said.
Police found three sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as “shabu” with a market value of P7,500, from the suspect.
Quoting witnesses, Tuzon said Ferolin presided over several holy masses in remove villages and collected mass offerings from the unsuspecting churchgoers.
Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 have been filed against Ferolin. RAM
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