Bogus priest arrested in Tondo, Manila
MANILA, Philippines – A man dressed as a priest, complete with clergy's soutane and vestments, was arrested Sunday, February 10, by the police for duping residents during a fiesta in Barangay 105 in Tondo.
The Manila Police District (MPD) said his victims got suspicious when Marlon Ponterez was seen slipping the cash donations he received between the pages of the Bible he was carrying.
Ponterez went house to house around the Barangay 105 in Tondo, asking homeowners if they wanted their religious items or their homes "blessed" by him. In return, he accepted their cash offerings, said an MPD report.
The police said victims who fell for the hoax handed the bogus priest as much as P1,000 each as donations.
After his arrest, police said they found that the fake cleric had tatoos on his body of marijuana leaves and the words "sputnik gang.”
Ponterez has had previous run-ins with the law according to records of the Manila police, including spending time in jail in 2017 for carjacking.
The counterfeit clergyman was still in police custody and was facing charges of extortion, estafa, and usurpation of authority. – Rappler.com