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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, December 3, 2019
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Balugo parishioners file
oust parish priest petition


A priest in the Diocese of Dumaguete is under fire from parishioners who call themselves “lumads” and originators of the Balugo church located in Barangay Balugo, Dumaguete City.

A petition with 425 signatories, dated November 14, was sent to Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes seeking the removal of Msgr. Thaddeus Stephano Quinit as parish priest of Balugo for various reasons.

The petitioners alleged that Quinit was arrogant when he was reminded of what they had agreed on during a meeting with Cortes.

The president of the Kalihokan sa Oktubre 27 (KOk27), Binaldo Sumanoy, one of the heirs of Rafaela Sumanoy, who was the original donor of the lot where the church was built, claimed he was so downhearted and had sleepless nights and anxieties when told by Msgr. Thaddy "akoy magboot kay akoy pari (I decide because I’m the priest)".

This is with regard to the holding of a daily novena for 9 days, from Oct. 18 to Oct. 27, that is traditionally the feast of Balugo.

Sumanoy said the novena was held in the Balugo covered court rather than the church because the latter is closed after the mass.

The petitioners informed Cortes they are not against changing the feast from Oct. 27 to June 27 but they should not be prevented from celebrating what their forefathers left them. They consider Oct. 27 as the "popular feast" while June 27 is the feast of Mama Mary under the liturgical calendar.

In an interview with another direct heir of the lot donor, Bandin Sumanoy could only hold her breathe when her name was reportedly mentioned during the first Sunday mass in September this year by the priest, who allegedly addressed her as "butol (stupid)" and illiterate for signing the petition because she is a catechist.

Bandin considered this an affront to the families in Balugo and an attack on her dignity and human right.

They also lamented the actuations of their parish priest when he claimed during a homily that the license of his .45 caliber pistol had just been renewed. They said they considered this a threat to parishioners.

The petition was also based on the belief that the priest no longer has the respect of a certain group and their families. They alleged that the priest is frequently seen inside the residence of a woman.

Several reporters attempted to get the side of the priest but he refused, while the Bishop is yet to issue a statement on the petition.*


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