FORMER monk Venan-cio Cabillon yesterday welcomed Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal’s offer of reconciliation, but said he will only accept the apology if it is made in front of his lawyer.
“If he wanted to apologize, he should have done it earlier. Nganong padu-gaydugay pa man siya?” said Dr. Edwin Fonghe yesterday.
Fonghe has assisted Cabillon in filing a libel suit against Cardinal Vidal. The case rose from a published notice, which said that Cabillon—then known as Frater Paul Mary—had been expelled from the Marian Monks of Eucharistic Adoration (MMEA) and could not collect donations on its behalf.
In his New Year’s message, Cardinal Vidal emphasized the need for forgiveness and reconciliation, and said he is willing to reconcile with the former monk.
Cabillon, in an interview, said he will only accept the apology if the Cebu archbishop makes it in front of his lawyer, Atty. Ivan Herrero.
Fonghe added that Cardinal Vidal’s apology should include telling Cabillon and the public their mistakes, including how they allegedly deceived believers in the Simala shrine.
Before he filed his case against Cardinal Vidal and other church officials, the ex-MMEA monk and Fonghe had raised allegations of corruption and sex scandals in the Simala shrine.
Since they filed the case, Fonghe added, he and Cabillon have received a number of threats.
“Gibaharan gyud mi sa mga negosyante didto sa Lindogon, kay nadaot kuno ang ilang negosyo tungod namo (The businessmen of Lindogon threatened us and blamed us for problems in their moneymaking ventures),” said Fonghe.
Cabillon also plans to file two new charges this month against four monks for allegedly forging documents to damage his name.
But Cabillon said he first has to get the Philippine National Police Regional Crime Laboratory to examine the signatures in a batch of documents his erstwhile brothers submitted to the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor late last year.
“The signatures are clearly forged and it shows that they lied about their accusations about me. The document examiners at the regional police crime laboratory can prove that,” he said in Bisaya.
The documents supported the counter-charge of estafa and acts of lasciviousness the MMEA monks filed against Cabillon, following Cabillon’s libel complaint against Cardinal Vidal and the head monk Abelio Mangila, who is known as Frater Martin Mary.
Cabillon said he was not expelled from the MMEA, but he resigned.
Mangila, who is the “perpetual formator” of the order, accused Cabillon of misappropriating more than P500,000 in cash and assorted items intended for the Monastery of Our Lady in Hilongos, Leyte.
One of the monks also accused Cabillon of sexual molestation.
Last week, Cabillon filed his formal answer to the counter-charges. In an interview with reporters, he noted how the monks attached a handwritten inventory showing that he misappropriated items like monobloc chairs, habits, a monstrance and tabernacle, books, a karaoke, a camera and cash reaching P200,000.
He stressed the signatures and other entries in the document were forged.
In his counter-affidavit, Cabillon denied the charges of estafa, saying he was never entrusted with cash and the religious items.
On the acts of lasciviousness charge, he said it was consensual sex, which happened not in 2000, but in 2006.