CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The Archdiocese of San Fernando announced Saturday the acquittal of a member of its clergy of rape charges that “caused him undue dishonor and discredit” for about two years.
“We wholeheartedly welcome the acquittal of Rev. Fr. Daniel Alvarado Baul of the charge of two counts of rape… issued by the Regional Trial Court, Third Division, Branch 61, Angeles City,” declared Circular Letter No. 5, Series of 2021 dated Jan. 30, 2021 signed by San Fernando Archbishop Florentino G. Lavarias.
Baul was charged for violation of Article 266-A Paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by RA 8353) in the Criminal Case No. R-ANG-19–01969-CR and R-ANG-19-01970-CR, the circular said.
It did not give any specifics of the cases. Media reports of the case sometime in July 2019 mentioned only the alleged victim as a 17-year-old girl and the abuse Baul’s acquittal was “due to lack of evidence.”
“Based on the court decision, Fr. Baul was cleared of the charges…because the complainant did not come to court to testify to prove her accusations against Fr. Baul despite the subpoenas and bench warrant issued by the court against her,” the circular read.
It called the court decision a vindication of the priest’s innocence “which he has consistently maintained throughout his legal ordeal.”
The archdiocese expressed hope the acquittal “to finally clear the air of whatever malicious imputations made against Fr. Baul which have caused him undue dishonor and discredit and unfortunately besmirched his reputation and integrity as a member of the clergy of the Archdiocese of San Fernando.”
With him acquitted, Baul has been reinstated and allowed to continue with his priestly ministry.
The archbishop thanked the priest’s lawyers for their legal assistance and his family and friends for their support and prayers.
This, even as he urged the faithful to pray “for those who concocted these false charges and wish them peace.”