Police stationed at a checkpoint in Kidapawan, Cotabato City were in for a shock after they pulled over a Catholic priest transporting what looked like a dead body wrapped in plastic inside his vehicle.
The body inside was, technically, not alive. It was in fact a statue of the Dead Christ (Santo Entierro) that the priest’s parish would use for the upcoming Holy Week. Santo Entierro are life-size statues that churches put on display during the Seven Last Words mass at 3pm on Good Friday, when Jesus is said to have died on the cross.
According to an Inquirer report, Fr. Jonel Peroy of the Diocese of Kidapawan said he picked-up the life-sized statue, which his parish bought in Digos City, Davao del Sur, for the upcoming Holy Week. On his way back home, he was apprehended by policemen manning a checkpoint at Kidapawan City on Monday morning.
“That looks like a dead person you have inside your car,” the officer reportedly told the priest. “Please step out of the vehicle.”
Although Peroy tried to explain that he was a priest and he was transporting a plaster sculpture of the Dead Christ, the officers insisted on conducting an inspection.
But when the officers confirmed that the body was indeed a sculpture, they had a good laugh and apologized to the priest.
“We’re sorry Father, we thought you had ‘salvaged’ a man,” police reportedly said, referring to the local term “salvaging” aka the extrajudicial killing of wanted people.
In a Facebook post, the priest conceded that the statue wrapped in plastic did indeed look suspicious.
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