Bishop disowns priest in drug bust

>> Thursday, August 17, 2017

By Mar T. Supnad

PANIQUI , Tarlac — “Drug addicts are liars.”
This is how Bishop Dindo Ranojo, of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI or Aglipayan Church) Diocese of Tarlac, disowned a drug suspect who claimed he was an Aglipayan priest when arrested with two others in a buy-bust operation in this town recently.
“Randy Valdez is not a member of the IFI,” said Bishop Ranojo. “Randy is not and has never been a member of IFI. Before I became a Bishop, I have worked in our national office and I did not encounter his name.”
Valdez, 35 along with drug targets Camille Franilla, 23 and Mike Raven Quinto, 20 was arrested here last August 5 when he allegedly handed over two sachets of “shabu” to a poseur-buyer during a buy-bust operation by elements of the Municipal Police Station led by Supt. Joel Mendoza.
Upon his arrest, Valdez told investigators he was an Aglipayan priest, said Mendoza.
Ranojo disclosed that Valdez belongs to one of the several “factions” of their church.
“Valdez is a member of the PICC (Philippine Independent Catholic Church). He does not belong to the mainstream (Aglipayan church). Their group occupied some of our churches,” added the IFI bishop.
 “When we accosted Valdez along with the two other suspects, I thought he (Valdez) was joking, or either high on drugs, when he introduced himself as a priest. But it turned out to be true, he is a priest of the Aglipayan church,” Mendoza said.
It turns out that Valdez, who is a native of this town, is the destined priest OF the Aglipayan Church in Cuyapo.
“The target of our entrapment were Camille (Franilla) and Quinto who are both on our municipal watchlist of drug personalities. It was Camille who received the P500 marked money from my policeman poseur-buyer but it was this person (Valdez) who handed the two plastic sachets of shabu. That’s why we arrested them,” explained Mendoza.

He added that Quinto, who yielded five sachets of shabu, has three siblings who are allegedly known drug pushers.


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