ABS-CBN News reports that a priest identified as Msgr. Arnel Fuentes Lagarejos, 55, was arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the Eastern Police District (EPD) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). He was caught in a motel in Marikina City.
The report explains that Lagarejos used social media to get in touch with a pimp (also said to be a minor) who was peddling the 13-year-old girl. In fact, they arranged for him to meet the girl at Blue Wave Mall on Sumulong Highway in Barangay Sto. Nino, Marikina City.
After meeting at the mall, the priest and the girl reportedly got into the SUV that he was driving and headed to a motel. The arrest happened just as the vehicle was about to go inside the motel premises. According to the police, the priest was carrying a gun and he supposedly tried to get hold of it when he saw them.
The EPD was actually trying to track down those involved in the prostitution ring to which the girl's pimp belonged. They claim to have been shocked to discover that the priest was also involved in the case.
The 13-year-old girl had presumably told her mother about the horrifying arrangement before anything could happen. It was the girl's mother who sought the help of the police.
Lagarejos is now facing charges for child abuse and human trafficking. Meanwhile, the girl is now under the custody of the DSWD.