A Catholic priest from Naga City is being charged with rape. A 17-year-old boy filed the complaint with the provincial prosecutor’s office.
Even before the prosecutor’s office could take action of the boy’s complaint against Monsignor Peter Beri?a, the Archdiocese of Caceres issued a statement strongly denying the allegation. Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi warned in a statement released last week that the Archdiocese of Caceres was “prepared to take appropriate legal action against the people behind these defamatory accusations."
The police chief of Camaligan, Camarines Sur, Senior Inspector Santiago Orozco, said that it took investigators about five days to know the identity of the suspect. They did this by tracing the plate number of the car allegedly used in the crime. The number was given by the victim to the police. Orozco said that on Nov. 1, 2010, the boy reported to the Camaligan Municipal Police Office that he escaped from a man who sexually molested him in a boarding house in town. Orozco also searched Facebook for any names matching the suspect. And when the primary photo was shown to the victim, the boy identified him as his molester.
Archbishop Legaspi said “it was not Beri?a who was using the Innova car at that time but the priest’s driver who used it without the knowledge and permission of the monsignor and entered a local motel with a female companion on the date and time of the alleged incident. Attempts to destroy and discredit the Church have been made by some sectors and individuals.is currently looking into the possibility of some malicious ploy against the Church and its priests. We are saddened by the fact that this false and malicious accusation is being made at the time when our priests are having their annual clergy retreat. Thus, we beg for prayers, especially at this time."