By CBCP News

March 29, 2023

Manila, Philippines

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos on Tuesday said the diocese would “fully cooperate” in the investigation into allegations that a priest raped a 17-year-old girl.

Saying that rape is a “grave crime,” he said the local Church in Negros Occidental province wants “the truth to come out and for justice to be served accordingly”.

“Together with the whole diocese, we commit to provide the needed information openly and honestly to the public without reservations,” Alminaza said in a statement March 28.

The church, according to him, will proceed with its own canonical process on the case involving Fr. Conrado Mantac, who was arrested in a village in Bacolod City on March 27.

Mantac, he said, was stripped of his priestly duties while he was being investigated by the authorities.

“For the meantime, we suspend all ministries with regard to his pastoral duties in the diocese,” Alminaza said.

The prelate then assured the alleged victim and her family of the diocese’s support and protection.

“I deeply feel the suffering of the victim and her family and entrust her to the rightful agency which can provide proper care and assistance,” he added.

The bishop asked the faithful to pray for Fr. Mantac and the alleged victim from the city of Sagay, as well to show them care.

“Please pray that the authorities, the lawyers, the guardians, and all other parties involved, including myself, will carry out our obligations in an honest and truthful manner,” he added.


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