ROSARIO, Cavite – A priest reported missing on Saturday was found hand-tied inside his vehicle in Silang, Cavite, Sunday noon, April 3, 2022.
The priest, identified as Fr. Leoben Peregrino, 59, of Elizaville, Corregidor, General Trias City was seen inside his vehicle in the vacant lot by residents of Bgy. Lumil, Silang alive, wearing the same clothes he wore when he left the parish on April 1.
His brother Joel Peregrino immediately posted “Salamat po sa inyong mga panalangin,” – as a thank-you note on his social media account, knowing that Fr. Peregrino was found alive.
“Dininig po ng Diyos ang ating mga dasal. Nakita na po si Father Leoben ‘Phem Octavo’ Peregrino sa Barangay Lumil Silang, Cavite. Buhay po siya,” Joel Peregrino said in his post.
According to Police Lt. Colonel John Oruga Jr, acting Police Chief of Silang, Cavite, Fr. Peregrino was found around 1:30 p.m. in the said village.
Bgy. Captain Nolasco Guevarra of Bgy. Lumil informed PCP-2 Substation Silang MPS, that they saw a Mitsubishi Adventure parked unattended at the vacant lot near a commercial building along Santa Rosa-Tagaytay City Road.
Upon checking, they saw the priest inside the vehicle sitting in the back seat and tied to the driver seat’s headrest.
The priest, who is said to be in a “state of shock” and taken to the hospital, has not yet spoken to the police.
Silang Police officials contacted Rosario authorities for an investigation into the incident.
Fr. Peregrino was reported the other day missing, according to his brother Joel Peregrino’s post on social media.
The priest left the convent of Holy Rosary Parish in Poblacion, Rosario, Cavite, on April 1, 2022, around 9:30 am, and was seen at Petron Gasoline station in Bgy. Tejero then on Robinson’s Place GenTri around 10 to 10:30 a.m., wearing a violet shirt and “maong” (jeans) pants.
The white Mitsubishi Adventure he was driving was last seen passing through Bgy. Santiago, General Trias City on April 1, 2022, at around 10:51 a.m., based on CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera footage of the said barangay.
According to Rosario, Cavite Police Chief Lt. Col. Ruther Saquilayan, “Hindi po makausap ng maayos si Father and advice ng attending doctor sa La Salle Medical Center sa Dasma na huwag munang kausapin, kase nasa trauma period pa ang victim.”
“We back track the vehicle to recover CCTV from Robinson Palapala up to Lumil, Silang and si Fr. Peregrino mismo ang makakapagbigay-linaw dyan ng lahat kapag nakausap natin sya,” Lt. Col. Saquilayan said.
“As of now, wala pa kaming lead, blangko kame kung ano talaga ang motibo ng suspect kay Fr. Peregrino,” Saquilayan added in interview.
Fr. Peregrino is in his sixth year as the parish priest of Holy Rosary Church.