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In a sheep’s clothing

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(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) One early news item yesterday, February 20, in Barangay eMedia was quite disturbing. A layman in a certain religious group committed a statutory rape to an 11-year old girl. And he did it inside their church for several times, accordingly, since September of last year. Through his own admission, he said that he did such barbarism to 4 girls whom he trained as choir members in their group.
The parents of the later victim went to the Divisoria Police Station to complain the suspect. The same parents discovered the repeated incidents through the cellular phone of their daughter. They already were suspicious recently to the closeness of their daughter with the suspect who personally would drive her home after their Saturday practices. Thus, they sneaked one night to check the phone of their daughter while she was soundly asleep.
There they discover endearing and lustful messages from the suspect. The question why maybe the girl didn’t report the devilish acts of the suspect to her parents? Maybe, it was the moral ascendancy of the suspect to her, as their choir leader in their religion, and her probable fear which stopped her.
But in the eyes of the law, once any person commits sexual acts with a minor of 12 years old and below, is deemed to be a statutory rape, regardless whether the latter consented the acts or not. To the suspect’s admission at the police station, he did allegedly abuse 4 of her choir students, and all of them are minors at 12 years old and below.
When such news reached at the knowledge of Barangay eMedia, everyone at the station giggled in anger. This sad news must remind parents to be careful to whom your children are going with, even if activities are said to be done in church. Know personally their supposed leaders whom they are following, otherwise, they could be already submitting to a person who appears to be a sheep but is actually a wolf inside.
We’re living today a very dangerous and corrupted generation. Unbelievably, crimes were committed inside a supposed holy place. Part of the suspect’s acts, before he committed his crimes to the girls, was he would induce the latter to watch pornographic films. Kids are innocent and they are totally helpless, they easily follow to an elder’s word without questions.
The suspect is in his mid 50’s and has been a layman in their group for at least 20 years. He taught music on Saturdays for the following day of their worship. Unimaginably, his victims would join for their Saturday practices and were induced by him before going home. Parents were pitifully blind of the carnage, that because of their trust to the man.
In fairness though, said religion of the suspect has nothing to do of the suspect’s actions. In fact, they even can become a party complainant of the case, that if they wish. They probably are also blind, that because also of their trust to him for the more than 20 years of latter’s commitment in their group.
The man must really be processed and to face his criminal liabilities, for the justice of the victims and their parents. Legally, such a case is quite sensitive that names and its specific details cannot be divulged in any medium, like in this column. It is however our responsibility to report certain bounds for the public to know, and more importantly, for our City’s parents to learn lessons from the incidents.
Hope this horrifying offense cannot anymore be repeated in our beloved City. Indeed, pornography can change any person, including church men like the suspect.
“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? (Matt. 7:16)
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