Aglipayan priest, 2 others nabbed in Tarlac drug bust

August 8, 2017 - 1:18 PM
Seized shabu, marked money
File photograph of seized shabu and marked money from a law enforcement buy bust.

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga — A priest of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, also known as the Aglipayan church, and two other persons were arrested by police as they allegedly used drugs in Paniqui town, Tarlac province on Monday.

Superintendent Joel Mendoza, Paniqui police chief, said the main targets of their operation on a suspected drug den in Barangay Poblacion Norte were alleged local drug personalities Mike Raven Quinto, 20, and Camille Franilla, 23.

But when they conducted the raid, they found the two taking crystal meth or “shabu” with Randy Valdez, 35, who immediately introduced himself as a priest and showed the officers his identification card showing him assigned in Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija.

Mendoza said Quinto has relatives who are also in the watch list of alleged drug traffickers in the town while Franilla is the widow of Jojo Salvador, a drug suspect who died during a police operation two years ago.

Seized from the three were five sachets of shabu.

Mendoza quoted Valdez as having admitted he began using the drug before he entered the priesthood and has since been hooked.