BINMALEY—A man pretending to be a priest and actually said Mass in Barangay Canaoalan here was arrested by the police after the community’s residents became suspicious and found him out to be fake.
The scheme of Ferdinand Bustos Suarez, 35, single and resident of 16 Magnas, La Loma, Quezon City. was discovered when his “celebration” did not follow the regular prayers and stages of the Catholic rite.
Suarez was invited by a parishioner to say Mass at the Seňor Tesoro Chapel after they met in Quiapo in Manila.
A seminarian who was requested by another parishioner to assist Suarez during the Mass noticed the supposed priest’s unfamiliarity with the sequence of the ceremony and the proper wordings for certain parts of the service.
Vigilant parishioners then sought the help of Father Fernan Estrada, the parish priest of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, under whose jurisdiction the chapel falls under.
When Estrada, assisted by barangay officials, talked to Suarez at the house of the parishioner who invited him to probe his background, the suspect was evasive and vague in his responses.
This prompted Estrada to seek police assistance resulting in the arrest of Suarez.
Confiscated from him was Mass collection money amounting to P1,193, various religious paraphernalia, and a Koran.
The police has filed an estafa case against Suarez at the provincial prosecutor’s office.—Eva Visperas