Priest nabbed in Marikina for allegedly attempting to have sex with 13-year-old girl

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 30) — Police arrested on July 28 a 55-year-old priest in Marikina City for allegedly attempting to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.

In an entrapment operation, Eastern Police District operatives nabbed Monseigneur Arnel Lagarejos, who is assigned in Marikina and Rizal, and a 16-year-old boy from San Mateo, Rizal who was named as the girl's alleged pimp.

Lagarejos faces charges for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which includes penalties for receiving a person for prostitution or sexual exploitation.

Meanwhile, the boy is under the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The initial investigation showed that the boy booked the girl, an out-of-school youth, for Lagarejos.

The girl then told her mother what happened, with both of them reporting the planned meeting to authorities at 4 p.m. on July 28.

Later that day, Lagarejos met the boy and the girl in his gray Ford Explorer. Police said the boy got P500 from the priest before leaving the girl with him in the car.

At around 6:30 p.m. on July 28, authorities moved in as Lagarejos and the girl were heading to a motel.

Police said the priest tried to pull out his gun, but operatives were already aiming their weapons at him.

The Diocese of Antipolo said in a July 29 statement that it is also looking into the matter.

"We assure the public that we respect the necessary procedures as provided by law in order to further investigate the matter," the diocese said. "Let us refrain from issuing unnecessary comments that might worsen the situation. Instead, we appeal for all the faithful to pray that the truth may come out."