Priest’s ‘verbal abuse’ forces coed to quit school; priest apologizes

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Friday, February 7, 2014


A PRIEST who teaches in a college in Talisay City has been accused of verbally abusing one of his students.

A 16-year-old female student of the Talisay City College filed a complaint against Fr. Judito Rosende after he allegedly humiliated her by shouting and cursing at her in front of her classmates last October.

Rihanna (not her real name) said she was forced to quit school after the experience.

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In an interview with reporters, Rosende admitted to the accusation and asked forgiveness from the student.

Due to the complaint filed before the Talisay City Prosecutor’s Office, officials of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the TCC will also conduct their own investigation.

In her complaint, Rihanna said the incident happened in Rosende’s class.

Rosende, who teaches philosophy, was about to give a midterm examination when he noticed that two of the class officers were absent.

He learned that the two students were in a meeting. Rosende proceeded with the exam.

In reaction, Rihanna reportedly told Rosende in jest, “Salbahisa sad nimo sir oy (You’re so mean, sir).”

Rihanna said it is common for her and her classmates to tease Rosende in class.

But Rosende exploded and told Rihanna to get out of his class.

While outside, Rosende continued to berate Rihanna and he pointed a finger at her.

“Bogo ka, taga-bukid ka, pobre ka, maong nieskwela ka aning eskwelahana kay pobre ka (You’re dumb, you’re poor, that’s why you’re in this school),” the priest reportedly told Rihanna.

Rihanna tried to apologize, but the priest refused to accept her apology and continued to berate her.

Rosende allegedly cursed Rihanna that she will never accomplished anything in life.

In an interview, Rosende admitted that his emotions got the better of him because Rihanna insulted him in front of his class.

Rosende said he forgave the victim and allowed her to take the exams the next day. But he learned Rihanna had quit school.

In a separate interview, TCC acting president Richel Bacaltos told reporters that while he has yet to receive a formal complaint, he will investigate the matter.

Bacaltos plans to invite Rihanna and her parents to shed light on the incident.

If proven guilty, Rosende could face sanctions for violating college policies in dealing with students, Bacaltos said.

Msgr. Esteban Binghay, episcopal vicar of the Metro Cebu South Parishes, said Rosende was a former member of the Society of the Holy Family.

After leaving his order, Rosende traveled to Cebu and asked the Cebu Archdiocese to incardinate him as a diocesan priest.

Binghay said the Archdiocese refused his request as he needs to settle some personal matters with his former religious order.

For now, the Archdiocese has placed Rosende at the San Isidro Labrador Parish in San Fernando as resident priest.

Binghay said Rosende is assigned in a parish because he needs the guidance of a senior priest.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma also plans to investigate Rosende.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 08, 2014.

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