Priest received threats prior to killing-PNP

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Before he was gunned down by still unidentified attackers in Malaybalay City on Sunday, Fr. Rene Regalado, 42, had received a death threat, the police said Tuesday, January 26.

Lt. Col. Jerry Tambis, Malaybalay City police chief stated, that days prior to Regalado’s death, the priest had been made aware of the threat but did not report it to authorities.

Tambis said a person who knew Regalado may have been the one who informed him that his life is in peril.

Regalado was killed not far from where he was residing at the St. John XXIII Seminary in Barangay Patpat, Malaybalay.

Based on information and testimonies from Regalado’s friends and colleagues the police has gathered, the death threat happened early this month.

Tambis said they are now trying to locate that person hoping it could help in their investigation.

Meantime, while he was assigned at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in Lala town, Lanao del Norte, Regalado was allegedly charged with rape by a church volunteer, Tambis said.

This was also confirmed by Fr. Virgilio Delfin, spokesperson of the Diocese of Malaybalay.

Delfin, who was Regalado’s mentor during his seminary days, said he had a one-on-one talk with the priest to learn about the rape case.

He said Regalado was “wrongfully accused and illegally arrested” and had even posted bail on the ground of illegal arrest.

Delfin added Regalado had denied the accusation against him. In turn, the diocese provided him with a lawyer.

On the day that the rape supposedly happened, Regalado was busy practicing songs, Delfin said, adding the priest was ready to return to Malaybalay awaiting for his next assignment when the case was filed.

Delfin said Regalado was due for another posting after serving in Lanao del Norte for three years. He said the slain priest was detained at a local prison facility in Lanao del Norte before he posted bail.

Regalado went back to Malaybalay December last year.-Jigger Jerusalem

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