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Ex-convict posing as priest arrested


MUGSHOT of Marlon Ponterez, an ex-convict arrested for posing as priest.

MUGSHOT of Marlon Ponterez, an ex-convict arrested for posing as priest.

A MAN once convicted of carnapping is now back in jail after posing as a priest.

Marlon Ponterez, clad in a priest’s vestments and carrying an identification card from the Apostolic Catholic Divine Holy Trinity, was arrested in Tondo, Manila, last Sunday.

Supt. Reynaldo Magdaluyo, station commander of Manila Police District (MPD) Station 1, said that Ponterez’s modus operandi was to go to places celebrating a feast and force people to acquire his religious services for a fee.

However, residents doubted him after noticing the collected cash “donations” inserted in his Bible.

“One of the complainants said that the suspect forced him to have his newly built house blessed for P1, 000,” Magdaluyo said.

The suspect later admitted to Magdaluyo his modus and confessed that he also have a group doing the illegal activity.

Furthermore, police learned that the suspect had been convicted of carnapping in Calauan, Laguna, in 2017, and had just been released from detention.

He is also a full-fledged member of notorious Sputnik Gang based on his tattoo on the right arm, according to police.

If the Philippine Independent and Roman Catholic churches affirm Ponterez’s non-affiliation to them, cases such as usurpation of authority, estafa, and grave coercion will be filed against him. (Ria Fernandez)