Arrested drug suspect was never a priest
John Baring Ferolin poses for a mugshot after he was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Matalam, North Cotabato on June 20, 2019. PHOTO FROM NDBC NEWS
By Rommel Lopez
June 21, 2019
Contrary to some media reports, a man arrested for the second time over illegal drug trade is not a “former Catholic priest”.
Local police arrested on Wednesday John Baring Ferolin, 42, during a buy bust operation in Matalam, North Cotabato.
The reports quoted Matalam police chief Joseph Brian Placer saying Ferolin was “a former minister of the Mission Society of the Philippines”.
Fr. Jonathan Germinanda, MSP superior, told NDBCNews that the society never had a priest-member nor a former seminarian with that name. He said he is saddened that the name of the society is dragged in this controversy.
The Catholic Directory of the Philippines, from the past to the current edition, does not list the name of Ferolin as an ordained priest nor as a member of the Mission Society of the Philippines (MSP).
In 2016, Ferolin was also arrested for the same offense and claimed to be a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SBD).
The Salesians, however, disowned Ferolin as a member of the religious congregation.
Ferolin has also claimed to be a priest of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines but the diocese denied his claim.
Nabbed drug suspect not a priest
By CBCP News
March 2, 2016
The Salesians in the Philippines disowned a suspected illegal drug trafficker who introduced himself as a missionary priest of the congregation.
Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB, said that a certain “Father” John Ferolin who was nabbed on Monday for possession of “shabu” in Midsayap, North Cotabato is not a Salesian priest.
“There is no such priest or missionary from among our remaining foreign missionaries, and no Filipino Salesian goes by that name,” Dimaranan, rector of Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong said.
The suspect is currently detained at the Midsayap municipal police.
“And no, we have no missionary outpost or work in North Cotabato. Above all, we Salesians do not work alone. We always work as a community. This is a poseur and a dangerous one at that,” Dimaranan added.
In other news reports, Ferolin has also claimed to be a priest of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (MOP), a personal diocese for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
However, the chancery of the MOP said that Ferolin is also not a military priest.
There is also no priest identified as John Ferolin in the 2015 Catholic Directory of the Philippines.