Catholic priest averts bloodbath in Mindanao convent

Light of truth

A Catholic priest convinced an armed and allegedly “drug-crazed” former choir member to surrender peacefully after he barged into a convent in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Ag.23, police said.

Father Roniedon Val-moria, parish priest of San Isidro Labrador parish in Naawan town in Misamis Oriental province, emerg-ed safe after almost four hours of negotiations between police and the suspect, Lavernton Rogedas. The priest said Rogedas used to sing in the parish choir.

“He barged into the convent with a gun. I was not taken as hostage,” the priest said in a radio interview. “He was just there to seek safety from the policemen who were running after him.”
Father Valmoria said he pray-ed for the suspect and convinced him to surrender peacefully.

Senior Supt. Rolando Destura, Misamis Oriental police director, said Rogedas was carrying a .45 caliber handgun and was high on drugs.

Rogedas had gone to the Naawan police station to clear a relative who was implicated in illegal drugs. Police said they noticed a gun tucked into his waistband and asked for it.

Rogedas resisted, briefly brandished the gun and then ran to the convent, which is near the police station, Destura said.

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