THE Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed the case filed against a pastor of the Central Baptist Church and Bible College after the complainant executed an affidavit of desistance.

RTC Branch 16 Presiding Judge Emmanuel Carpio cleared Rev. Ebenezer Loquias after the complainant, Pastor Juanito Rulona of Maiting Baptist Church, a resident of Barangay Kitubod in Libungan, Cotabato, manifested his disinterest in pursuing the case.

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In an order, Carpio also directed the Clerk of Court to release the cash bond posted by Loquias in the amount of P24,000.

Court records showed Rulona was promised to work as a missionary in Maryland, USA, but ended up as a carpenter.

Loquias was charged with illegal recruitment after Prosecutor Shahruddin Roberto Sencio found probable cause to hold him for court trial.

Rulona, in an affidavit, said he first met Loquias in May 2005 in a family gathering at Loquias's church in Tacunan, Tugbok district, where the accused announced he was recruiting pastors to go out of the country as missionaries under the supervision of Charles Thomas Johnson II, a board member of In His Name Missionary Alliance.

The missionaries, according to Loquias, will be receiving $200 per week and their travel expenses will be deducted from their compensation upon the start of the missionary work.

Rulona was sent off on April 13, 2006 for Maryland. But when he arrived there, he was told that he was there to be a carpenter and that he was even told not to tell any other Filipinos about what happened to him.

He stayed on for eight months without receiving any compensation. When he went home, Johnson even charged him for some expenses he was supposed to have incurred.

Rulona said he signed a waiver to leave the country.