Priest and 2 others arrested for shabu in Paniqui, Tarlac


An addict priest?
By: Central Luzon News Center | Nelson Bolos

This came as a priest, along with 2 others, were arrested in a buy bust operation at Barangay Poblacion Norte in Paniqui, Tarlac.

In his report, PSupt Joel Mendoza identified those arrested as Randy Valdez, 35, of District 1, Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, Mike Raven Quinto y Puyaoan, 20, of Barangay Poblacion Sur, and Camille Franilla, 23, of Barangay Poblacion Norte, here.

Valdez, who is a native of this town, is the destined priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI), more commonly known as the Aglipayan Church, in Cuyapo town.

“When we accosted Valdez along with the 2 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.

Mendoza also said, “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 2 plastic sachets of shabu. That’s why we arrested them”.

The 20-year old Quinto, whose maternal name is Puyaoan his 3 kins of which are known to be actively involved in illegal drugs, yielded 5 plastic sachets of shabu.

While the 23-year old Camille disclosed that she already has 5 children and that it was her second time to be arrested for illegal drugs. Camille admitted that she is the common law wife of Jojo Salvador who was killed in a bungled police buy-bust 2 years.

Sought for comment, Valdez said, “Nagsimula akong gumamit (ng shabu) bago pa ako pumasok sa pagpapari. (Mula noon) hindi ko (na) mapigil ang sarili ko na gumamit (ng shabu)”.
Valdez also disclosed that priesthood of the Aglipayan church takes 5 to 8 years studies depending on the course chosen.

He, however, refused to comment on how his “flock” of Aglipayan church members will react upon knowing that their priest is using illegal drugs.
“Talagang ang paggamit ng shabu ay nakakasira ng isip at pagkatao. Pati paniniwala sa Diyos mawawala”, also said Mendoza.

“ Being a priest, Valdez can fall under the category of “newly discovered High Value Target (HVT)”, Mendoza added.

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