Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg .Photo courtesy of Maria Tan

Archbishop Utleg on Fr. Ventura’s alleged illicit affairs: Unfounded rumors, malicious insinuations

Raymon DullanaRaymon Dullana is The Northern Forum's new editor in chief. He also works as correspondent for Rappler.com.


CAGAYAN, Philippines- Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg on Tuesday, May 22, hit the supposed matrix of Fr. Mark Ventura’s women before he was shot dead on April 29.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his speech on Sunday, presented a matrix of women who had alleged illicit affairs with Ventura.

In the matrix were wives of a vice mayor, a policemen, a soldier, and a businesman. Duterte presented the matrix to justify the murder of Ventura.

In a statement sent to Rappler, Utleg said Duterte’s statements were “unfounded rumors and malicious insinuations.”

“The police is investigating the killing from all angles. We do not want to speculate on what the reasons are for his death. Neither do we want that the investigation be muddled by the spreading of unfounded rumors and malicious insinuations,” Utleg said.

“We wish them success, to come out with solid evidence, to apprehend the killers and determine the mastermind. We hope and pray that the real truth will come out so that justice for Fr Mark will finally be served,” he added.

The archbishop earlier expressed his confidence with the special task group formed to investigate the crime.

Meanwhile, Cagayan Valley regional police spokesperson Superintendent Chevalier Iringan said Duterte’s matrix did not come from the regional police nor from the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG).

Iringan said police are focused in identifying the suspects, whose computerized facial composites were earlier released. Northernforum.net