‘Cult leader’, who disrupted Mass in Barili church, nabbed, detained
Barili Police Chief: Arrested man to face interruption of religious worship complaint
CEBU CITY, Philippines — An alleged cult leader has been arrested on May 15 after he allegedly led a group of people to disrupt an ongoing Mass inside a Catholic Church that afternoon.
Rev. Fr. Fiel Suico, parish priest of San Isidro Labrador Parish in Barangay Mantalongon, filed a complaint at the Barili Police Station that same day (May 15), against Jerome Villarin, who allegedly disrupted the celebration of a Holy Mass inside the San Isidro Labrador Parish on that Sunday afternoon, said Police Major Felicisimo Aranas Jr., Barili Police Station chief.
Villarin, 46, who also claims to be a faith healer and who is from Sitio Tagaytay, Barangay Vito of Barili town, was detained at the Barili Police Station as police waits for information from the fiscal of the schedule of Villarin’s inquest proceeding.
Aranas said Villarin would be facing a complaint of interruption of a religious worship.
Aside from that, Aranas said that they were also trying to identify the other people who were with Villarin.
Aranas said once they could identify the others involved then they would be facing a similar complaint.
Investigation showed that at about 4:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, Father Suico was celebrating a Holy Mass when at least 20 individuals led by Villarin went inside the church.
When Father Suico started his homily, Villarin allegedly shouted: “Ayaw mog to-o ana nga pari. Dili na mao iyang gipanulti. Iyaha na sa demonyo.” (Don’t believe that priest. What he is saying is not true. Those words are from the demon.)
Father Suico told police that he was shocked and embarrassed in front of his parishioners when Villarin shouted those words during the Mass.
This also caused Father Suico to stop the Mass for a while as the priest tried to talk and convince the group not to interrupt the Mass.
But they did not heed the priest’s request prompting the priest to call the police.
However, Aranas said that when they arrived at the church, they only saw Villarin, because the others had already left when they learned that the police was called.
Police arrested Villarin outside the church and detained him at the police station.
Aranas also said that they did not know about the name of Villarin’s alleged cult group.
“Si Father ra may nitawag ani og cult pero walay simbahan didto or name sa ilang grupo. Naa lang silay leader,” Aranas said.
(It was only Father (Suico), who called them a cult, but we do not know of a church there or the name of their group. They only have a leader though.)
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