This is one more story of Cullen’s disregard for anyone in his pursuit of money. The two documents written by N.B.I. Lawyer Britannico have been rewritten as they are very difficult to read but they are available. Technology has changed in the more than twenty years since this case was first presented to the public. Many papers were scanned in and would not open until I figured out how to convert them, read them and then retype.
This is a video of Victor Fitzgerald as he is being found guilty of rape. Shay Cullen can be seen sitting, smugly, in the Olongapo court room with a cross around his neck. Victor is now 86 years old and has maintained his innocence, all these years. Everyone who helped him, including the Bishop, other priests and my favorite priest, ex-Columban Fr. Mike Duffin, have all been ‘branded’ as part of a ‘sex-ring’ or pedophiles.
Victor’s prophetic statement – a warning to anyone who gets close to Cullen’s web of wickedness.
“It is my belief that every child has the right to grow up without being molested but at the same time, I must carefully warn people that they have to be aware that these charges can be fabricated. They can be made up by men, such as Cullen, who will do his best to bring down people to save his own hide.”
Victor Fitzgerald was sentenced to 17 years, 4 months and one day. He is still in the Philippines. I am sure that it pains him to read about the light sentences, given to priests who have molested so many thousands of innocent children.
My heart breaks for all the children that Cullen has ‘used’ in his desire for fame, wealth and accolades. My heart also breaks for Victor Fitzgerald.
How it all started:
The following article was written by Ansbert B. Joaquin, a reporter, I believe, with the Philippine Inquirer but was never published. It is being published here. The reporter is a Filipino and it really should have been published. It gives a fascinating insight.
Victims tell tales of lies, frame ups and abuses
in a “castle” that media built.
February 28, 2000
OLONGAPO CITY — In a predominantly Catholic country that has a long colonial history, who would want to fight a priest who is a foreigner? Only his fellow priests, and in this case, a bishop.
“He has silenced the media, he has silenced the local authorities, and he has silenced the local populace. Who is there to speak against his malpractices? Perhaps there’s only us,” a priest, who requested anonymity, told the INQUIRER.
He was referring to the statements he and his fellow 26 priests and the Bishop of the Diocese of Iba, Zambales, signed seeking for a retrial of an Australian national who was convicted of child prostitution in 1996.
Australian Victor Fitzgerald, after having been acquitted of several charges of rape and child abuse for insufficiency of evidence, was convicted of child prostitution after a “successful” prosecution by Shay Cullen, a Columban missionary priest who runs Preda Center. Preda is an institution that cares for victims of child abuse.
Fitzgerald, who has been languishing in jail since 1994, turned 70 last February 22.
But Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez claimed, “Cullen might have exceeded bounds in influencing the children in their pursuit [fight] against pedophiles.”
“I feel that the pronouncement of guilt against Fitzgerald was not one beyond reasonable doubt,” Iñiguez said in a statement after speaking with alleged child abuse victims, their mothers and other persons who, according to Iñiguez, “express views and conviction about the innocence of Fitzgerald.”
But for years, no one dared to speak against Cullen. At least, no one but the accused, Fitzgerald, and for obvious reasons, and, quite ironically, his supposed victims.
One of the mothers, Violeta Alcantara, also reported that she has not seen her daughter for five years now, since April 1995. Her daughter, April Alcantara, was also dragged into the Fitzgerald case when Cullen placed her under the custody of Preda. Cullen denied having April in his custody. April will turn 18 on May this year. Correspondence concerning is at the end of this page.
Today, the alleged child abuse victims, their mothers, the priests and the bishop are speaking up with one voice: “Everything is a frame up,” referring to each and every rape and child abuse cases filed against Fitzgerald.
HOW IT STARTED
It all started in December of 1993 when Cullen, through a lens from his High-8 PAL System camera, saw a yacht anchored at Nagbaculao beach, just below Preda. The yacht was later identified as MV Mariposa.
In the yacht were Fitzgerald and a number of minors. At times the children were seen with adults who were later identified as their parents. The view was enough for Cullen, to suspect that Fitzgerald is a pedophile. He later asked a social worker to conduct surveillance on the Australian.
A month later, information reached Cullen that the yacht is scheduled to leave. He went to the office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) here in Olongapo City and handed a report.
“Minor children were observed to be boarding the yacht, staying there overnight and would come out the following early morning,” Cullen reported. What he has in mind actually was that a pedophile, with his prey, anchored his yacht and did his thing at Nagbaculao beach just below a center for child abuse victims.
Cullen, together with two of his staff members, and an NBI agent, Lawyer Magno Britanico, proceeded to the yacht and invited Fitzgerald to the NBI headquarters. With Fitzgerald were three minors, Desiree Perez, then 7 years of age, Gloria Limpat, 13 and Edith Tamoria, 11.
Despite the statements of the minors given at the NBI clearing Fitzgerald of any wrongdoing, child abuse and rape charges were filed against Fitzgerald.
For insufficiency of evidence, the city prosecutor dismissed the case and released Fitzgerald. Cullen, however, managed to keep custody over the minors, which later included Jacqueline Purificacion and Merlyn Dionido.
AUSSIE NOT YET OFF THE HOOK
At Preda, Gloria would reveal later that Cullen made her sign a statement implicating Fitzgerald — that Gloria, once while in the yacht, saw Fitzgerald kissed the vagina of Jacqueline; that Fitzgerald once fondled her breasts, and required them to take orange-colored vitamins after which she felt dizzy; and that Fitzgerald went on top of her.
It was this statement of Gloria and the subsequent statements of Jacqueline and Marlyn Dionido, who were also both taken under the custody of Preda, that Cullen used later to file fresh charges of rape and child prostitution against Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was again placed behind bars.
Three months after the cases were filed, however, Gloria and Jacqueline escaped from Preda and recanted their statements.
Both minors claimed they were offered P50,000 in exchange for signing the documents implicating Fitzgerald in child abuse incidents. They also claimed that Cullen threatened them that if Fitzgerald is not put in jail, they and their parents will be the ones to be jailed.
Another witness, Violeta Alcantara, mother of another minor, April Alcantara, filed a rape case against Fitzgerald. Violeta later testified during cross examination that a staff at Preda convinced her to file the case after having been told by Preda that her daughter was also raped.
She added that she was “promised” P50,000 by Cullen and Alex Hermoso, also from Preda, if she would cooperate. She later withdrew her complaint after learning from her daughter that nothing happened to her.
In an interview last Sunday, February 27, the mothers of Merlyn, Gloria, Jacqueline, April Alcantara and Desiree Perez now all claim that Cullen asked them to cooperate by implicating Fitzgerald and that they too were offered P50,000.
“Kung mayroon ngang nangyari sa anak ko, ako na ang mauunang magsampa ng demanda,” Violeta said. (“If indeed this happened to my child, I am the first to file a lawsuit”) “Siyempre, sa aming mga magulang magsasabi ng totoo ang mga bata, pero wala talaga,” she added. (” Of course, our parents tell the truth the kids, but not really,”)
“I never offered them P50,000,” Cullen told the INQUIRER in an earlier interview more than two years ago. “I was just telling them that the court will award them that amount if we win the case [against Fitzgerald].
In an interview with the INQUIRER Thursday (February 24,2000), Gloria added: “Cullen also told us that Fitzgerald complained to him that we stole money from him. Magnanakaw daw kami, (He said we are thieves)” Gloria added. “Nagalit ako noon kay Fitzgerald (I got mad then at Fitzgerald),” Gloria said.
“I learned later that Fitzgerald never said anything about losing any money and that Cullen was only driving a wedge between us and Fitzgerald,” Gloria narrated in Filipino.
Gloria added that at Preda, the Preda staff would herd them all in one room to practice “healing sessions.” During healing sessions, the staff would instruct them to “pour out your rage towards your parents.”
They were told to shout invectives against their parents, bang the walls, and do whatever they please in sessions that they call “Primal Healing,” and which they were made to believe are psychological healing.
PRESSURES AND GIFTS
Gloria also claimed that Cullen and other Preda staff members, coached them on what to say during court hearings. “Umiyak ka para maawa sa iyo ang judge,” Gloria claimed Cullen would teach them. (Have mercy, judge,”)
She added that Cullen would ask them to take in white colored tablets before every hearing which they were made to believe as sedative pills.
“That’s absurd,” Alex Hermoso, coordinator at Preda told this reporter.
She further claimed that Cullen would instruct her to just fix her eye on him during court hearings and do what Cullen suggests. “Kapag tumatango siya, napapaoo naman ako (When he nods his head, I always find myself following him by answering yes,”) Gloria added. (In the Internet, Cullen claims he studied hypnoses.)
“Cullen would give us ice cream and clothes after every hearing when we would cooperate,” Gloria said. “Palakpakan natin si Gloria (let us clap for Gloria),” Cullen would ask other girls at Preda upon their arrival from court hearings, Gloria claimed.
But her conscience continued to bother her. Gloria recounted nights when she would dream of seeing Fitzgerald begging her for help.
“Noong minsan, nakokonsiyensya na ako, sumigaw na ako sa korte at sinabi ko na itigil na ang lahat, pero hindi nila ako pinansin. Noong minsan naman sa Hall of Justice, nang hinawakan ako sa braso ng nanay ko, hinila ako ni Cullen pagkatapos ay itinulak at sabay tinadyakan niya ang nanay ko,” Gloria recounted a court incident. (“On one occasion, I felt guilty, I cried in court and said that I stop everything, but they ignored me. On another occasion at the Hall of Justice, they took me by the arm. My mother pulled me. Cullen then pushed and kicked at my mother.)
As there are other people who saw commotion, Cullen shouted: “Walang kuwenta kang ina, ibinebenta mo ang anak mo.” (“You worthless mother, you sold your child.)
When asked about Cullen’s allegations, Gloria’s mother, last Sunday, February 27, told this Filipino reporter: “Hindi ko benta ang anak ko. Walo anak ko, hindi ko benta. Lalabada ako buhay ko ang anak ko,” in broken Tagalog. (“I’m not selling my child. Eight children, never sold. I’m a washerwoman all my life to care for my daughter.”)
These were the same statements that the girls, now six years older, and their mother, gave to Bishop Iñiguez and the priests in February 2 and February 7 this year, which prompted them to seek for a new trial.
Their statements, including that of Violeta, the medico legal finding that they were still virgins when taken to Preda, and some legal technicalities, resulted in the acquittal of Fitzgerald in the rape case filed with Judge Eliodoro Ubiadas of RTC Branch 72 and another rape case filed with Judge Leopoldo Calderon.
Interestingly, their statements were the same statements that Merlyn Dionido gave to the INQUIRER after she also escaped from Preda in November 1, 1997. Immediately after her escape, she recanted her earlier statement claiming that she was raped by Fitzgerald, and executed an affidavit of desistance.
“Tinuruan lamang ako na gumawa ng istorya. Ayaw kong gawin pero pinilit lamang ako, ginawa ko iyon para mapagbigyan ang pari na si Cullen, ang kaniyang mga tauhan at mga taga DSWD para mahinto lamang ang kanilang pangungulit at pagbabanta nila sa akin at sa aking ina,” Merlyn wrote in her statement. (“He taught me to tell the story. I do not want to do that, but I was forced, I did it so that the priest Cullen, his staff and DSWD would stop threatening us and their anger at me and my mother.”)
She never appeared in court since her escape, and Judge Alicia Santos of RTC Branch 73 dismissed the rape and child abuse cases against Fitzgerald in view of Merlyn’s absence.
“I have now been acquitted five times out of the six charges,” Fitzgerald told the INQUIRER in 1997 after learning of his latest acquittal.
However, Calderon found Fitzgerald guilty of child prostitution.
“I haven’t filed motion for reconsideration on the conviction,” Fitzgerald told the INQUIRER from his detention cell in 1997.
“I filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. I am extremely confident due to the fact that when I examined all the materials, I was actually amazed to find out that in one instance, an order was issued by Judge Calderon when my lawyer was never given the right to cross examine the witness,” Fitzgerald.
“It was a mistrial, an absolute mistrial. This is scandalous, there’s a big story here and it goes right into the annals of the judicial system. That sort of thing from a qualified judge is unheard of. And the girl said nobody ever asked me her if she was raped, nobody ever asked her if she was abused,” Fitzgerald contested.
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS ADVOCATES?
In his letter to Bishop Iñiguez, February 22, 2000, Cullen wrote: “We are shocked and amazed, as children’s rights advocates everywhere surely are, that you have given such generous support and comfort to the convicted sexual abuser of children when there are so many women and child victims of abuse and exploitation crying out for justice and [yet they] receive no such affidavits or statements from the diocese,” referring to the statements signed by 27 priests and Bishop Iñiguez seeking for Fitzgerald’s retrial.
“It is with these victims of sexual abuse [that] our priority as priests ought [to] rest, not with their rapists and abusers,” Cullen added.
But whose priority? Who are the victims? And who are the abusers?
Aside from coaching, threats, pressures, and “primal therapies,” Gloria recounted that while at Preda, Cullen would always hide her from her mother.
When she was finally allowed to attend to her schooling, she was being brought to and fetched from the school by one she considers a bodyguard. When her mother learned of her attending school, she came to fetch Gloria but the bodyguard immediately intercepted Gloria before she could even reach her mother.
Her mother became suspicious of Preda. She once came to school early and was able to bring Gloria home. Once at home, she asked Gloria what really happened between her and Fitzgerald. Gloria said, “Nothing.”
Afraid that the Preda might get her daughter again, Gloria’s mother asked her not to attend schooling anymore. Desirous of finishing her studies, Gloria escaped from her mother and attended school. This angered her elder brother who fetched her from school and brought her home. Once inside their house, Gloria claimed that her elder brother, afraid of losing her again to Preda, bound her feet with a chain.
This did not prevent Gloria from returning to school where the Preda staff again “rescued” her later. “I really wanted to go to school then but my parents can not afford it,” Gloria said.
When Cullen learned that Gloria was once locked up by her elder brother, he immediately brought Gloria to the NBI office in Olongapo where they filed a complaint against her parents and elder brother and accused them of supporting Fitzgerald.
But Gloria said she did not want to file that complaint. “Sila ang nag-reklamo. Kapag may itinatanong yung NBI sila ang sumasagot,” she averred. (“They complained. When asked what the NBI responded”)
Gloria’s woes did not stop there. Back at Preda, Cullen himself again chained the feet of the young Gloria, who was still 12 years old then, before the cameras of a foreign media outfit, according to Gloria.
“Sa harapan ng mga Amerikano, itinali nila ng kadena ang mga paa ko at pinapunta sa isang sulok na may mga lumang lata at basura. Pinakuhanan nila ako ng litrato sa mga bisitang mga kano. Nayuko na lamang ako. Pinaakyat ako sa bundok parang tumatakas daw ako sa mga magulang ko. Pero ang totoo ay doon kuha yun sa Preda,” Gloria recounted. (In front of American visitors, they chained my feet and sent me to one corner beside old cans and trashes. There they asked the visitors to take pictures of me [while bound]. I could only bow my head [in shame]. They also asked me to climb the hill as if I was escaping from my parents. But the truth is that it was taken at Preda).
Gloria’s picture, with her bowed head and chained feet, was later published in Sunday Independent, a foreign newspaper. Other copies of the pictures were posted on the bulletin boards at Preda for all residents and visitors to see.
Hermoso admitted the chaining of Gloria’s feet but denied asking her to climb a hill while chained.
Aside from the usual bribery, threats and intimidation, Merlyn also claimed that she appeared in more or less 20 movie clips portraying her as a child abuse victim. She said Cullen promised her money for every movie made about her, but no amount was given her.
Gloria, Jacqueline and Merlyn escaped. Gloria, while still in the custody of Preda, recanted her story and told all. But the worst agony was that of April, who remains missing since 1995 after Preda and a DSWD staff threatened April’s mother that she would lose her daughter for life if she will not cooperate.
Her mother, Violeta Alcantara, said she has visited almost all municipal halls in Zambales and in Manila looking for her daughter. All her efforts were fruitless. With the help of some friends, she filed a petition for habeas corpus with the courts. Cullen and the DSWD denied having April in their custody and nothing happened with the case.
The papers I have on this case follow this article
MORE FRAME UPS FOR MEDIA
Robert (not his real name), a former social worker from Preda for two years revealed more frame-ups for the foreign media and donor institutions. Robert admitted they would coach the children on what to answer to questions from media personalities, mostly foreigners, that visit Preda.
“There would be rehearsal first,” he revealed.
“I am also aware that on several social issues which Cullen feels he could use to project Preda as a socially responsible institution, or issues that he feels he can use in soliciting funds from foreign funding institutions, we would gather as many street children from every corner of the city as we can… Once here at Preda, we would ask them to carry placards and we would march to the streets in front of video cameras. Afterwhich, we will send them back home, or back to the streets,” Robert continued.
Preda displays a signboard that says this is a Center for Human Development, “pero hindi namin nararamdaman dito sa loob ang diwa ng mga katagang yan… Dito naging stagnant ang development namin. Sa katunayan nga, mas maganda pa ang nagging kalagayan naming noong umalis kami diyan.” Robert claimed. (but we feel it is within the spirit of the words that…Here, we became stagnant, in fact, we feel better than the situation we were in when we left there”) “One of us is now working for FedEx, another is with the Asian Armor, both at Subic Freeport, while the rest are working either in government or private companies,” Robert concluded.
Another social worker, Bill (not his real name) added, “Pagkatapos, ang almusal, tanghalian at hapunan namin diyan ay puro mura, (We take invectives as our breakfast, lunch and dinner there). At kung magmura yan, b–l s–t at f–k you. Parang hindi pare,” he complained.
“Next time, use your nuts,” Bill quoted Cullen as having told one social worker who studied at Ateneo.
“Tuwing umaga nga sa pagpasok ko dito, mabigat na mabigat ang paa ko sa pag-akyat kasi iniisip ko kung anong mura na naman ang aabutin ko,” Bill continued. (“Every morning I go there with a heavy, heavy foot, climbing slow because I wonder what ruin they will take me to.”)
Hermoso defended this by saying that “it is natural for westerners. They are only straight forward in talking.”
Another source revealed that Cullen went to the house of his former staff, Rolando Besara, recently and confronted him on why he is supporting Harry Joost, a German who operates a restaurant at Baloy Beach, and who Cullen branded as the leader of a pedophile support group.
Besara, added the source, asked Cullen what is wrong with helping Joost. Even Bishop is supporting him, he argued.
“Si Bishop, eh pedophile din ‘yun eh,” (The Bishop is also a pedophile) the source quoted Cullen as having answered, in front of Besara’s wife.
WHERE’S THE BEEF
Robert claimed millions of pesos come in from sales of handicraft products for export alone while millions more come in from donor institutions abroad.
“As far as I can recall, we are registering P3 million in monthly sales in the years 1993 and 1994,” he said.
“And yet, we receive low wages, no benefits, no SSS, no medicare, no employees compensation and no thirteenth month pay,” he added. “And worst, during my time, the children are being housed on top of the hill and not inside the Preda building which was built out of foreign funds meant to take care of the children,” Robert complained.
The air-conditioned rooms at Preda, Bill confirmed, are being used by Cullen, and Alex Hermoso. The others are being used by or rented out to Cullen’s visitors.
“The truth is that there are only few street children being housed at Preda. They represent only a small fraction of the total number of street children here in the city. During my time, they were less than 30. And the figure did not actually increase. Nababawasan pa nga, at sila-sila pa rin ang nandoon,” Bill added.
“Where now is the money?” Robert asked.
WHY PICK ON FOREIGNERS
There were many celebrated rape cases in the city and in Zambales. In the last two years alone, three of the victims, who were minors, were brutally killed. One of these was the rape-slay case of a 6-year old girl, Desiree Elpuz Tan. Another minor was raped and killed in Barrio Barretto last year. In Zambales, there was the rape-slay case of an aeta.
There were others that did not reach publication in newspapers. Cullen would himself claim, there are many others that remain unreported. But in all of these cases, Cullen was never heard of.
In a 1997 interview with the INQUIRER, Cullen bragged that Preda had just “rescued” two minor girls from a bar in Angeles City owned by a foreigner. But why did Cullen need to go as far as Angeles City to “rescue” alleged child prostitutes when there are lots of them in Subic, in a town just ten minutes drive from Preda?
To this, Bill has an explanation; “Foreigners are good media copy,” he said. “And the suspects in the two rape cases in the city and the owners of clubs in Subic are Filipinos,” he added. “While it was reported that the suspect in the rape-slay of an aeta is a godson of a PNP personnel, that suspect is still a Filipino,” Bill stressed.
Bill, also explained that aside from being good media copy, foreigners, mostly retirees, are isolated from their families abroad and are very vulnerable. He did not elaborate.
VICTIMS TWICE OVER
In a documentary film Tatort Manila (Tatort is a German word for crime scene) shown in Germany, Olongapo City was portrayed as a dirty city where child abuse cases are aplenty and that the city is a haven for pedophiles.
In the film, Cullen spoke of his fight against child abusers, showed scenes of bars and nightclubs, where supposed child prostitution occurs.
However, the scenes of bars and nightclubs in the film could not be found anywhere in the city. The only scenes actually taken from the city were that of the facade of the Hall of Justice and the Baloy Beach, the favorite target of Cullen in many of his funding expeditions.
Worst, the producers, aside from flashing the alleged child victim’s real name on screen, did not bother to cover the victim’s face from the camera in violation of the rights of the abused not to be identified.
“It is therapeutic for them [child abuse victims] to come out in the open,” Cullen, who claims he is a “respected” journalist, told the INQUIRER three years ago when asked why he approves of such practice. This was reiterated by Hermoso and added that it is part of the victim’s advocacy work.
The girl, who was shown on that film, also appeared in another documentary film, again shown abroad, titled Schattenmann des Himmels, or Shadow Man of Heaven, where Cullen was highly praised.
When Gloria and Jacqueline escaped from Preda in December 12, 1994, Preda displayed posters all over Olongapo showing pictures of both Gloria and Jacqueline.
“Kung may impormasyon po kayo o makita ninyo ang batang ito, mangyaring tumawag agad sa Preda Center, Tel. 222-5573, o di kaya sa mga sumusunod na himpilan ng pulisya…May nakalaang halagang pabuya sa inyong tulong at impormasyon,” the poster read. (If you have information or did you see this child, please call the Preda Center, Tel. 222-5573, or perhaps the following police stations…With a dedicated amount of gratuity for your help and information.
“Noong makita namin yung poster, pinunit namin. Ang pakiramdam namin, parang magnanakaw kami na hinahanap.” (“When we see those posters, we buy into them. We feel like we’re looking for thieves”.) Gloria now recounts her experience.
In many other articles written about Preda, including those that could be found in the Internet, pictures of alleged child abuse victims were displayed in clear violation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Children. And Cullen does not see anything wrong about this.
One such article, authored by Cullen himself, titled Challenging Child Prostitution in the Philippines and Empowering the Survivors, was published in Germany in February 1996. This article used a group picture of 17 minor girls and boys inside Preda, with their faces open for all to see.
Hermoso said Preda has no control over editorial policies of different newspapers. When asked about the group picture of 17 boys and girls appearing in the Preda internet page, Hermoso answered: “They are not necessarily child abuse victims.”
In another article, “Loss of Innocence,” which was published December of 1996 by Fortnight, a foreign media outfit, Rita O’Reilly, who praised Cullen to high heavens for his work, ranked the Philippines as fourth, behind India, Thailand and United States of America, where commercial child sex has become a multi-billion dollar industry.
The last paragraph of the article reads: “The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was drafted by NGOs, and neither government has brought it into domestic law. In the midst of debates about pornography, corporal punishment and sexual abuse, Cullen says, no one (underscoring supplied) has stopped and looked at this Convention.”
Little did the author know that Cullen really meant what he said.
VICTIMS ARE CHILDREN
For years, and even during the times when the minors have already escaped and have told of their miseries, no one dared to speak against Cullen. No one did so because he is a priest.
Then someone, spoke for the children’s well being. Ironically, he is the man charged many times in court with abusing them.
“The children are the ones being abused here,” Fitzgerald told the INQUIRER in 1997 from his detention. “There are many others out there who have been similarly treated but they kept their mouth closed because he [Cullen] is a priest. He is supposed to be standing on the high moral ground but his ground is illegal. That man is not acting the way a normal priest would act. He must be getting some satisfaction out of doing this,” he added.
“There is nothing wrong with the quest [for justice for child abuse victims], the quest is excellent. But his modus operandi and the method he uses is absolutely, totally wrong,” Fitzgerald stressed.
Note: I used the real names of the alleged minor victims in view of the fact that they all claimed that none of them was raped or abused. But I leave the option to my editors to use or not to use their real names.
THE REPORTS BY THE N.B.I. OFFICER BRITANNICO
This is in reference to a case of Alleged Violation of Republic Act No. 7610, the law against Child Abuse, specifically Section 6 thereof, hereby attached
On Friday morning 21 January 1994, HA CELSO P. ABESAMIS ordered undersigned to see Father SHAY CULLEN at PREDA, Olongapo City. Proceeding there with CRISOSTOMO E. DANAN JR., Security Guard, OLSO, they were met by Father CULLEN there with two persons who appeared to be PREDA volunteers. In a domineering and impolite way, Father CULLEN insisted and demanded, in a threatening way, on the immediate arrest of an alleged pedophile who was then and there in the company of 3 minors in his yacht anchored about 25 meters from the shoreline just a short distance from PREDA. Basing his insistence on the quoted section, CULLEN said that there was a crime in progress and he would have undersigned administratively charge if he did not immediately arrest and file charges against the pedophile. He also mentioned that Secretary DRILON, Undersecretary ESGUERRA, and Director Velasco knew the case and wanted the guy arrested and in fact, that undersigned should stand by that morning for a Radio Message from Director Velasco bearing on the matter. In a tactful way, undersigned tried to place things in proper perspective by reminding CULLEN that we have to study things before making risky moves as this was our prerogative. Visibly irked, CULLEN tried to intimidate undersigned by asking one of his own PREDA companions who was carrying a video camera whether he was having the conversation taped, which angered undersigned because the act of taping a conversation in that situation without telling us about it was blatantly impolite and unethical. Things got out of stalemate when undersigned said the group could now proceed to see the yacht and see if the arrest could be affected.
Right at that moment, undersigned was calculating the risks that had to be taken, risks which were legal rather than physical as well as risks which had to do with unpleasant media consequences both as to the undersigned’s person as well as the Bureau’s, CULLEN being a columnist of the influential P.D.I. Even then , undersigned was mulling in his mind that this was a child-abuse or that least a child-abuse related case better to have been left to us for necessary investigation before the actual arrest so that the arrest and detention would stick. Our investigation would have collected and consolidated the necessary volume of evidence before transmitting the case to the Fiscal. As we all know children who have been abused must first be prepared, ideally sufficient time must be given to the investigator to gain the child trust. But here we have CULLEN, adamant that the arrest be effected, lying through his mouth that Director VELASCO and Secretary DRILON wanted the guy arrested right there and there and even saying that Director VELASCO was sending a Radio Message that morning respecting this specific case, a radio message that never came.
Arrest of VICTOR KEITH FITZGERALD was effected on or about 10:00 in the morning of that Friday, 21 February 1994, or more or less 1 hour and 15 minutes from CULLEN’S call to OLSO. Fitzgerald dutifully came and the three alleged minors found in his yacht were also taken to OLSO. A witness to the regularity of the arrest was requested from CULLEN by undersigned but the guy disappeared later and did not to go the NBI as he committed.
The children were first interviewed. 7—year old DESIREE PEREZ as reticent as expected, the PREDA volunteers tried to help out but undersigned noticed that they wanted to tape things again and were admonished against it and and advised to wait for the appropriate time for this. Undersigned was not able to make DESIREE disclose matters which would be of substantial use to the prosecution. On the other hand, DESIREE’S mother who came along disclosed that she allowed DESIREE to sleep in FITZGERALD’S yacht but they didn’t have any wrongful or malicious intent. (Sometime in the course of interview, undersigned told the two PREDA volunteers plainly that he believed the case should have been given to us so we could exercise our investigative prerogatives and thus be able to make the evidence solid and CULLEN should not just present the situation to us to effect an immediate arrest. The volunteers were told that as it stood, the Fiscal might order the release of subject. The PREDA volunteers., who were both Filipino apparently understood and acceded.
The two other minors, GLORIA LIPAT Y SANGALANG and EDITH TAMORIA, 13 & 9 years respectively, were given to SRA OLIVER V. MOTUC to interview Nothing of investigative substance could be taken from them.
While these Agents were preparing the documentation of the interview of the three (3) minors, the PREDA volunteers requested that the minors, plus their parents and guardians be made to go with them to eat as it was already lunch time. It was learned later that these volunteers took the group to PREDA and there tried to do their own investigation and probably even harassed the group of poor and uneducated people.
Late that noon, SHAY CULLEN came to the office and asked about the case. He was informed that we will be filing the case with the office of the City Prosecutor but chances were that the subject would be released. He also said that a special prosecutor would be coming down from Manila to take care of things (which turned out to be a lie again just as his avowal that Director VELASCO would be sending a message regarding the order to arrest FITZGERALD0. When undersigned told CULLEN to send his PREDA Volunteers here so he could get their statement regarding alleged disclosures of lascivious acts made in their presence by the minors, CULLEN asked if they could do so instead before PREDA lawyers which was alright for undersigned. Asked if he had already coordinated with the City Prosecutor’s office as committed, CULLEN said he had and that the Fiscal told him they would be waiting until 4:30 that same Friday.
Subject when investigated said that he would not wish to get the service of a lawyer because he did nothing wrong. He calmly and fully cooperated with these investigators.
It appeared to undersigned that the PREDA people might be doing their own thing with the minors and their guardians and trying to conduct their own investigation, because in spite of their promise to return the group of children right after lunch, the children were no longer returned to NBI. (Undersigned even had a Request for Physical Examination of the minor’s made, but the minors was nowhere so this did not push through. (Annex)
Apprehensive that the 4:30 deadline to meet at the Office of the City Prosecutor for inquest might not be met, undersigned just had the documents to be signed by the minors and their guardians prepared intending to just have them subscribed before the Prosecutor. At 4:25 P.M., undersigned brought along the papers, left a message at the NBI for the PREDA people to go direct to the City Prosecutor when they came, and conferred with City Prosecutor when they came, and conferred with City Prosecutor JALANDONI. A little past 4:35, the PREDA people came bringing the children and a sheaf of documents. It appeared that these documents were those bearing on probable lascivious acts committed on the children but the City Prosecutor told the PREDA volunteers that undersigned was filing a case of attempted Child prostitution and if PREDA intending to file another case, they may either file the case direct with the Fiscal or entrust the case to NBI. This prompted undersigned to inform the PREDA people that with latter case, the NBI would need to study the case first and that the time element would definitely not allow the case to be filed by the NBI that Friday. The PREDA people just keep their files.
The Inquest Prosecutor (Prosecutor SANTOS) convened the group bringing the case as well as subject, who was brought by undersigned for the purposes of the Inquest. Since the papers prepared at the NBI were not yet signed by the affiants-minors because the PREDA failed to return the children there, they were presented before the Fiscal to attest to the truth of their averments there, so the Fiscal would be their administering Officer. DESIREE PEREZ told the Fiscal they did not do anything and that subject was a good man. EDITH TAMORIA and GLORIA LIMPAT followed and they also had no disclosures of prosecutorial value. Nevertheless, DESIREE PEREZ and EDITH TAMORIA subscribed their signatures/thumbprints on their affidavits which stated disclosures they had given to the Agents (Annex), disclosure that only showed that they were in the yacht of subject, about 25 meters from the shoreline and that subject who was with them at the time was not their relative.
MERLITA PEREZ, mother of DESIREE, refused to sign to attest to her disclosure. (Annex).
Upon inquest, submittals to the Inquest Prosecutor consisted of the transmittal of the case (Annex), the affidavit of arresting Officers (Annex), the affidavit of DESIREE PERZ, GLORIA LIMPAT, and EDITH TAMORIA (Annex), the unsigned affidavit of MERLTA PEREZ, and the person of VICTOR KEITH FITZGERALD.
Upon studying the case, the Inquest prosecutor ruled that there was no probable case and that subject should be released. (Annex)
This prompted undersigned to instruct the minors and subjects, as well as the PREDA people, to go with him to NBI so that the necessary documentation of the matter would be made. At the NBI, Subject was made to sign a paper showing his release from NBI custody and that he had no complaint against the NBI regarding his arrest (Annex) Minors TAMORIA and LIMPAT were given to the custody of PREDA as they had no definite place to go home (Annex) while DESIREE was given to her mother MERLITA (Annex) Consequently all these persons were released.
In view of the foregoing, it is respectfully recommended that this case be closed and records be filed for future reference.
THERE WAS NO CASE!!!! And then Cullen writes his column in a national paper and because he is a PRIEST – it has to be true.
On 30 January 1994, SHAY CULLEN in his column which appears every Sunday in the influential PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer) insinuated malice in the acts of the undersigned thus:
Britanico returned the passport he had confiscated from Fitzgerald after a private meeting. Fitzgerald quickly left the Country and Britanico took a short holiday in Naga.”
The NBI Agent would not give “Reflections” (the name of Cullen’s column) a copy of his testimony before the Prosecutor.
This notwithstanding that this representation had acted fully within the parameters of law and even bent over backward to serve CULLEN’S desire—that of conducting an immediate arrest of subject. That column was an unfair account because CULLEN kept from the public the following major details.
He was Part of the Whole Fiasco if Not the Major Part of it.
CULLEN called OLSO at 8:30 am Friday 21 January, speaking with AIC. AIC responded by ordering undersigned to go to PREDA. There with CRISOSTOMO E. DANAN, Security Guard, undersigned was briefed by CULLEN. CULLEN’s briefing consisted of mentioning that we are a task force against child abuse, that the new law on child abuse was RA7610 a copy of which he showed to undersigned, that Sec. DRILON, Undersecretary ESGUERRA and DIR. VELASCO were very interested that child abuse incidents be prosecuted, that at present a pedophile staying in a yacht 25 meters from the shoreline and visible from PREDA grounds had in his company 3 young minors, that this means there is an attempt to commit child prostitution as provided in the new law, and that undersigned must arrest the pedophile.
Feeling that is was our prerogative to gauge whether a warrantless arrest is proper and feeling that the situation called for a full-dress, although possibly discreet, investigation before effecting an arrest if we wanted the arrest to stick and successful prosecution to follow, this agent clarified to CULLEN that the next time he called for our services, he should give us time to plot our strategies, but CULLEN reacted.
This caused a sudden and aggressive reaction from CULLEN who now accused this representation of not doing what was his duty and threatening to tell all the 3 gods previously invoked by this agent’s recalcitrance. In the process, CULLEN also warned of dire consequences for undersigned when his column appeared in the papers and promised to file administrative charges against him.
And in a bid to frighten undersigned into submission, he called and asked one of the PREDA volunteers who was carrying a video camera, if he was taking all the conversation on tape.
Undersigned upon knowing that the team was being treated as a team————————————————-(two lines unreadable) was enough reason to walk out on CULLEN but even so he resolved the stalemate by bending over backward and accommodating CULLEN’s request, even though to his investigator’s mind, it would have been better that CULLEN would entrust the case fully to our competence and procedures in order that the case filed would be solid, and the arrest would stick.
And CULLEN’s insistence was a sustained one. While proceeding to the target area, CULLEN reiterated that Dir. VELASCO was sending a radio message bearing on this specific pedophile that same morning, a message never came.
He also said that the pedophile was leaving for Cebu that afternoon, an information that, when verified from the foreigner, was not true as he was scheduled to leave the following day yet.
As we all know, the arrest as desired by CULLEN was effected and the case was submitted for inquest and as expected was dismissed.
The situation as set by the state of facts detailed above show that CULLEN, in his forceful, dominant, and controlling ways, wanted the immediate arrest to happen and engineered and manipulated persons and things in order to get his way.
He was almost entirely to blame for the fiasco but in his depraved ways, he began to malign the good names of Britanico and Santos and in a calculate effect, succeeded to place his person in a worshipful and immaculate light.
His Preda Volunteers are all over the Investigation of the Case Preparatory to Inquest, intervening in the investigation Process. Making Moves to Dominate the Witnesses and in Fact Taking the Witnesses to Preda and trying to do the Investigating Themselves on the Pretext that They were being taken out for Lunch, and trying to Tape the Whole Event Without Informing or Asking Permission from Affected Parties.
It was noted that the PREDA volunteers appeared to be trained to be bossy and to put their noses in every crack and crevice they could get into and if possible surreptitiously (and most times in the absence of prior permission being asked of their subjects in cases of overt intrusions) tape conversations occurring among people. This practice of taping things is at the very least impolite but this representation believes it is unethical and immoral. What happens is that they have control over the tapes and sometimes play them in other events or assemblages, using parts only which are favorable to them. To equalize or at least lend partly redeeming value to this unethical practice, at least they should forthwith give copies of the complete tape to persons whose conversations they may have taped.
Undersigned also thinks that these poor Preda volunteers, and it is observed that all of them are relatively young and only in their early 20’s, are easily being destroyed by wrong values they are imbibing as they can easily be manipulated due to their young and impressionable ages. And queerly, it seems that CULLEN has a penchant for managing only young people who I believe cannot quickly see through veneers and manipulative and dehumanizing tactics that are used on them and they are also taught to use, immorally, on others.
This agent believes a professional study on this matter may be appropriate.
PREDA has its own lawyers, reportedly two of them.
Why does Cullen not send PREDA’s lawyers to coordinate with us? It would be easier that way but he isn’t doing this.
This agent thinks that he distrusts the competence and morals even of his lawyers. It might not be rash to speculate that that is how he thinks of all Filipinos and he is a racist bigot who succeeds in fooling affected Filipinos with his writings, his trappings of being a priest, and his ability to appear the perfect white, clean, handsome Caucasian male subject of the fawning adoration of those afflicted with colonial mentality.
In the course of our coordination with CULLEN and PREDA, it was also observed that:
Dirty Tricks are not a Rarity in his Dealings with his Peers or for that Matter, Ordinary People
“Sex, Lies, and Videotape.” That is one interesting movie title implying dirty tricks. With CULLEN, it is “Sex, Lies, Videotape and Audiotapes.” As related above, Cullen and his PREDA volunteers tape conversations while other participants to the conversation have no knowledge that this is going on. God knows when and where these tapes are played and replayed! (There is information to the effect that CULLEN takes all these tapes out of the country, shows the depressing situations portrayed in the tapes to possible foreign donors to his fund campaigns, and replays them on so many occasions, doing so in his highhanded and slanted technique that one distinct effect is that the Philippines is seen in a very bad light in so many places worldwide, and to think that definitely audiences to these showings must necessarily come from the moneyed and influential members of those societies.) Nor are the other participants, so that the situation may be equalized later, given copies of the tapes.
Lies. The penchant of CULLEN is to lie—that Sec. Drilon, Usec. ESGUERRA, and Dir. Velasco wanted the pedophile arrested as recounted above, among others, is apparently designed to let people he is dealing with do as he wanted and in a manner he wanted. This dehumanizes a person but this is one of CULLEN’s trademarks.
CULLEN also effectively plays up a bloated image of closeness with higher-ups in his use of name dropping to impress respect or fear. This is another of his dirty tactics.
Knowing this propensity, it is not far fetched to conclude that in his several dealing in his several years stay in the Philippines, he has unjustly used for his personal advantage and agenda, several people who might have been misled to act in a way CULLEN wanted when in fact, they would have acted differently in the absence of his manipulations.
Insults, or if not, Disrespectful Language Directed Against a Sector of Philippine Society Supposed to be Held in High Esteem are Declared in Public and August Functions by CULLEN and Sometimes in a Way which Makes Socially Respected Members of Philippine Society Appear Ridiculous and Stupid.
Reproduced here are my observations regarding the Seminar conducted at PREDA on 28 January 1994.
It was observed however that the format of the seminar might have been unfair to some quarters and designed to put an entity in a dominant light. It was observed that the gathering’s respectable assembly of prosecutors and judges. ______ in the middle of the event was a film showing which showed a footage of the arrest of a suspected pedophile who was arrested by undersigned a week ago, which showing was done without previous acquiescence being procured from him, an act which to undersigned was at the very least not within the bounds of civilized or ethical conduct among peers. Another unfair event was the format of the talks which protected SHAY CULLEN from questioning his speech, the closing remarks, was done right after the open forum, that only the other speakers were able to be questioned when in fact CULLEN should have, in the spirit of fairness. What in fact happened was both curious and comic. Cullen closed the seminar with a talk lambasting the Fiscals, (and undersigned feels the talk was insulting to the bulk of the participants) but after its delivery, all of the insulted participants applauded.
To Dominate and Control Their Acts, CULLEN Threatens People with Unfavorable Exposure in His Column.
On 26 January 1994, Cullen phoned undersigned at OLSO and in an accusing and offensive manner, asked why undersigned let the arrested pedophile go. Undersigned proceeded to explain but was cut off by the impolite voice of Cullen who demanded that this Agent’s report be sent to PREDA. He was informed to please drop by at OLSO but this was rebuffed with several threats, one of which was that he would be exposing undersigned unfavorable in the PDI. IT is believed that journalistic ethics should frown upon the use of journalistic license to intimidate or threaten. In this regard, Cullen should be investigated by the NPC.
CULLEN is an Alien Resident of Olongapo But He is not Respectable in the Eyes of Several if Not Most of Olongapo Residents Who have come to know Him, Specifically Those Who Live Near Preda.
Information we have been receiving here is to the effect that so many people living around PREDA hate Cullen. This is not surprising because in fact, at OLSO, one of mothers of the minor children taken in as witness in this case was cursed by Cullen and insulted as regards her motherhood. The mother was embarrassed and angered. The Barangay Chairman of Kalaklan, where Preda is located, is more voluble in words short of cursing Cullen’s regarding Cullen’s alleged offensive reputation, his unfair dealings with the poor people, his violations of the law, his exploitation of his workers, and his violation of cultural norms.
CULLEN is a Lawbreaker But has Not Been Successfully Deported.
It was learned that several cases have been filed against Cullen but has not been successfully deported. A deportation order was served but a phalanx of nuns reportedly massed at NAIA (airport in Manila) to prevent the columnist from being forcefully boarded.
It is wished that next time, eventualities like this should be prepared for because our laws should not be allowed to be derogated nor trivialized. More so our culture.
CULLEN has a Manipulative Character.
From the accounts laid out above especially on those detailing the process of how Cullen deals with his peers can be seen his manipulative character which dehumanizes several of our people and throws a monkey wrench on the social hierarchies our culture had through the years erected.
In spite of all this CULLEN remains in the Philippines and we are host to his depravities most of which are directed against pillars of our society, authorities our social order has seen fit to put in high regard. Because of his manipulative nature, coordination with him is always fraught with “pasigurohan,” as his tendency is to try to push people back against the wall, to put them under his power and control and in several of his dealings, he seeks the services of government authorities who will, to the detriment of civil service, unerringly get embroiled in the atrocious predicament of parrying his (Cullen’s) myriad manipulations, instead of just attending to the work at hand. To put if briefly, CULLEN is a pain in the ass.
This representation thinks that the presence of CULLEN here in these shores is an insult to our culture, our sense of law and our sense of racial pride. His continuous insult of authorities held in high esteem by cultural mechanics is detrimental to our sense of cultural identity, which this representation believes is in dire need of reinforcement in the light of studies that our culture may have been severely affected by what is popularly called ‘colonial mentality’ (Cullen writes vehemently about “colonial Mentality” but he is one of its most aggressive beneficiaries, especially when it is recalled that people of the church, specifically Roman Catholic nuns, resorted to ‘sister power’ to block the entourage set to forcibly board Cullen on a plane for legal deportation.
In the course of his work, undersigned learned that an alien’s sojourn in our country is merely a privilege. He has also learned that because of this, aliens must conduct their activities here in a lawful and socially appropriate and acceptable manner. They are expected to conduct their lives showing their respect for the culture which plays host to them. They must not make elements of our cultural mechanisms look stupid and ridiculous.
But Shay Cullen has (does) all these and is still here. Because so many think that these observations are all stupid and ridiculous. Comic, even.
This is serious. Matters of culture are serious matters. It is therefore respectfully recommended that CULLEN be investigated discreetly with the end in view of ultimately deport him. Investigation may be anchored on this information inputs.
CULLEN has no records with the Bureau of Immigration
CULLEN has been badmouthing the Philippine Government and the Philippine State when he goes to sorties abroad ostensibly to raise funds for his supposed humanitarian cause.
CULLEN is engaged in the business of exporting handicraft and taking in boarders most of whom are foreigners and not paying taxes for these.
There is something queer about him. Information has filtered in that he has tendency of dispatching away from PREDA minors who are female and retaining males only. There is news to the effect that he is a closet pedophile himself and a homosexual one.
For your Information and Disposition
This letter was written by the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Iba
This letter did not amuse Shay Cullen and I am sure
the following really annoyed him.
The following letter was written by Harry E. Joost. Mr. Joost had volunteered with Preda until he discovered the true nature of Shay Cullen. I print it without permission as Mr. Joost is dead but I don’t believe he would mind me posting it here. It explains who he was and why he fought Cullen so hard.
Harry E. Joost
Baloy Long Beach Resort
Bo. Barretto, Olongapo City
OPEN LETTER TO SHAY CULLEN
(written on Easter Day 2000)
Since I am confronted almost every day with your baseless assaults, slander and libel in newspapers, on the Internet, in letters to the editor, in almost all your affidavits and wherever else you can find, including public meetings, I see only one remedy, and that is to answer these attacks in an open letter.
You were unopposed for many years for attacking every single critic of you right away with unreasonable and harsh measures. You silenced your critics with attacks intentionally designed to cause the greatest personal damage to their reputations, that other people would call slander and libel.
You forced your critics into silence by labeling them as pedophile supporters and suchlike knowing that such labels can do untold damage to the reputations of honest and upstanding members of the community.
You give the impression that because you are a priest you are above the law and that you could be guilty of no crime!, yet it is a crime in your own country Ireland to libel with malicious intent as you have been doing.
People would rather stay silent than to go into a “clinch” with a priest. With a priest who according to public perception would never lie, is always right, would seem on the face of it to protect children and who has a vast amount of donated funding (donated I assume to assist the children you are claiming to help) to spend to destroy anybody who might dare to criticize you or your methods, if needed. In fact, you have built up a wall of fear around yourself.
I honestly believe you have little respect for any human being but yourself, worse you do not seem to have any respect at all for any Filipino. I am married to a Filipina more than 22 years already. I respect and love my wife, the children we have together and I love her country the Philippines and her people too. Anybody putting a “question mark” on this will raise my anger. You have raised my anger!
People became aware that our generation needed to protect our future generations, our children. The protection of our children could be achieved only with an international understanding for their needs and their rights. Slowly, not to say too slowly, an international awareness developed and the implementing of children’s rights made progress.
Many people and many organizations are now involved and working hard to reach the goal, which should have been reached a long time ago already. But many people grabbed the opportunity to “surf on the wave” to make some fast money. Many people became rich, constructing mansions and acquiring a fleet of cars but in fact are not caring for children in the manner they portray to the public. They just pretend to do so, talking clever, pretending to be indispensable and making it appear that nothing would be achieved without them.
A couple of years ago you realized that some good “Pedophile” cases would boost up your ego and your publicity. Your “Drug Business” was not lucrative anymore and you were one lone priest among others fighting this terrible phenomenon of the modern age. (the drug problem did not go away, did it? was it not rewarding enough for you?)
You got your pedophile cases. I will not elaborate on the different cases. I just remind you about the “Alpenblick” case, which turned out to be a fiasco for you and your group of so-called journalists. Please remember that I called and warned you when I received a fax from the Television people who told me that they were planning a fictive “show” and needed the name of any place owned by a German or Swiss, they would do the rest. You did not listen to me and conspired with them.
With full intention, you and your journalists destroyed the reputation, the honor and the future of at least one man. Still you are not ashamed to brand him “Pedophile” during your trips abroad despite his acquittal by the former Secretary of Justice. A shame for you!
I was lucky; at that time I realized how rigorous you would be in your operations, how without regard for individuals you would destroy people for just one goal. Publicity for yourself!!. You wanted publicity on Television by any means. This was the time I denied you future support and assistance as I had previously tried to support you for several months. I was searching for the priest in you but could not find him. When I saw the suffering of the victims in the “Alpenblick” case I even tried to appeal to your conscience, do you remember?
I tell you quite honestly that I was ashamed for what the TV-People and you did. I approached the real victims of that “Alpenblick” scandal and offered my help. My help to them was not only for free, but on my own expenses. I hope you will believe me if I tell you that they had their serious doubts about me because they knew that I was in contact with you before. They did not trust me, thinking that I was a part of your scam.
The initial impact of the “Alpenblick” case, which was well staged, made you restless and greedy for more publicity. Publicity was what you badly needed to become somebody in the “world of the fighters against child abuse”. The Fitzgerald case was in its initial stage and not yet ready for the sensation you needed, you needed more and that “more” you needed badly.
For me there was only one alternative left, and that was to turn against you and to help these poor innocent men after you denied my pleadings, my begging for your concessions and insight. You wanted the televisions show, even though it was disastrous for that man and you got it.
This was the time I looked into other cases you filed against various people, mostly against foreigners. I will not go into the details. It was enough to learn your way of operating and I believe I understood your reason for it.
Also at this time you “fell in love” with the word pedophile. You made it your catchphrase and used it at any given chance. You took advantage of the ignorance of the ordinary people who were not aware of the actual meaning of the word pedophile. Seeing the impact of that word on these people you extended this catchphrase many times. You invented Pedophile Rings, Pedophile Syndicates, Pedophile Support Groups, International operating Pedophile Organizations, Child molesting Syndicates and what else, you name it. Everybody crisscrossing your path was labeled with one of these titles. Even the Philippines as a Country became the Pedophile Capital of the World in your mind (You seem to forget to mention that Ireland has a much publicized pedophile problem, and that Priests are being convicted there practically on a daily basis of this heinous crime of sexually assaulting and raping children in their supposed care, I am told that one convicted lately was personally known to you, and even studied at the same time as you and in the same place as you in Ireland, he says he buggered young boys because as a missionary Priest in the Far East he was lonely!! and yes in Ireland the people at first would not believe any Priest would commit such an offence, now the people know that not only some but very many of their trusted priests buggered young boys and were responsible for the deaths of so many young children!) In Ireland the Priest is no longer trusted to be alone with children, and you Father Shay Cullen dare come here and preach to us!
These descriptions coming from you as a trusted Priest sounded bad and that is what you wanted. International reaction and sympathy for your cause, along of course with many, many monetary donations which you did not even have to account for, at least in your own mind!
It was not long before you labeled me with all the titles mentioned above and you even invented more. Honestly, it affected me only in a minor way at that time, because it at least opened my eyes to your warped mind, a wolf in sheep’s clothing able to change colors like a chameleon. Yes you could change colors depending on your needs. You are great in twisting words around and you have the Irish charm and the gift of the Blarney to convince people to believe what you are saying. You bring shame on your fellow Priests that follow the Word of the Scriptures in what they practice as Priests ministering to the people.
Sir, you noticed that I never filed any complaint for libel, slander or what else against you before. This would have been against my nature as a peace loving family father. More importantly my decision not to sue you was because I did not want to sink to the low level you are operating on.
You have published nonsense about me at any given chance, accusing me of any crime possible in connection with child abuse or prostitution. These wild accusations just confirmed to me that you were on the warpath ignoring the truth and reaching a low level I do better not to describe. I felt sad that you had to resort to such tactics and felt pity for you as a Priest. As I felt you had lost your vocation to God.
You have your own way of interpreting the law. In one letter addressed to a prosecutor you described it very well, YOUR LAW. You actually played with the law and practiced ways to find out how much you could extend laws, how much you could twist it around, how far you could influence or manipulate the laws. If questioned you indulged yourself in endless attempts of explanations and self-glorifications. In short, you wrote clever sounding nonsense. Ordinary honest people just listened and took for granted that as a Priest you must be telling the truth!
I could not interpret your Counter-Affidavit dated May 14, 1999 and issued in connection with a libel case filed against you by Mr. Edmonds other than to express my honest concern about your condition. The Indian saying applies: “He is speaking with two tongues”. You are stating under Paragraph 5 of this affidavit:
“Besides, even if such a allegation, that Edmonds is a suspected Pedophile, it is not defamatory or libelous since Pedophilia in itself is not a crime, it is a condition, a deposition of a person or persons. No statement was made that Edmonds actually committed an act of sexual abuse against a child.”
Forgive me if I said before you are talented at twisting words around. At least in the above-mentioned affidavit you are doing it. to intentionally damage the reputation of a father in the eyes of the public!
In all your writings, publications and justifications you are calling Victor Fitzgerald a convicted pedophile. He was not convicted of physically or mentally abusing any child as you well know. Nothing is stated that he is convicted for being a pedophile. It is just confirming my thesis about your catchphrases. You just want to hurt; you want to hurt for the hurting.
If pedophilia would have to be considered to be a condition, it could be called illness too. You are calling the foreign community and all people helping Victor Fitzgerald Pedophile Rings, Pedophile Syndicates, Pedophile Support Groups, International operating Pedophile Organizations. You have even called me many times the leader of these groups or organizations.
While we talk about Mr. Victor Fitzgerald, “your” convicted pedophile. May I remind you that his conviction is not yet final and that it is the constitutional right of everybody to defend himself until the judgment is final. Since I honestly believe that Mr. Victor Fitzgerald during the time of his trial did not have the liberty to gather sufficient evidences for his defense for himself, because you filed one rape case after the other against him (a non-bailable offense), he was solely depending on other people to look for the evidence he needed to defend himself against a misguided and sick minded man. You did your best to keep Victor Fitzgerald totally isolated, harassed him with a broad spectrum of insults and almost threatened everybody who just went near him. You harassed the warden of the jail, you harassed the Judges, you harassed the people you claimed were the victims of Fitzgerald up to the extent of forcing at least one child to file charges against her own family. Fitzgerald has every right to claim he is innocent until the decision against him is final or until he will be proven innocent. You are talking about law but you are talking about your “own” laws. You are denying Fitzgerald the basic laws.
You conducted your own trial by international media against Victor Fitzgerald long before any Court conviction took place, but you omitted to advise that same media when Victor was acquitted of the heinous child rape charges manufactured to cause him the greatest possible harm and to ensure he would die resulting from the death penalty being handed down to him in Court.
You modus operandi doesn’t work this time. You accused me that I was the one to bring the girls involved in the Fitzgerald case to the Solicitor General to retract their statements. That sounds bad! And you wanted it to sound bad.
In fact, who are you to forbid anybody to go to that office for whatever reason?, especially if it is to help an innocent man find justice by uncovering the real truth, the real evidence!
One girl, driven by her conscience traveled on her own and on her own expenses to the office of the Solicitor General. She was told to bring all girls over there. Yes Sir, I gave them a ride because I had to go to Manila too. I was invited by the Assistant Solicitor to join the meeting. I joined. Sorry that I forgot to ask for your permission. You are writing about this as if I committed a heinous crime. It was my obligation as a human being to do what I did. Don’t make a fuss out of it.
Even all your alleged rape cases fell apart and one court decision mentioned this was not very favorable for you!
Don’t forget that all the “rape victims” turned out to be virgins. Please forgive me if I don’t elaborate the Merlyn D. case. You really tried desperately to explain how a rape occurred and why the victim remained a virgin. You described it so clearly and with such perverse detail that I almost vomited for disgust. You mentioned her full name with the result that everybody at this time knows the identity and anatomy of this poor girl. Disgusting. In your own Country Ireland this also is a criminal offence but why should you take any more notice of Irish laws than you do of Philippine laws.
Document I have found on Merlyn Dionido and what Cullen did to the Mother are at the end of this page.
I remember too that you were loud to demand the death penalty for Victor Fitzgerald who was sitting in his cell like a goat waiting for slaughter. Can you understand now why some people are saying you might have exceeded your bounds? I go so far to say you did. Was this your way to attempt to silence Mr. Fitzgerald by having him executed in case the true evidence might come to light acquitting him of any crime, and questioning your involvement in the case and your motives?
It is very remarkable that you are suddenly pretending to be an advocate against the Death Penalty. I am sure that the reason for your change of mind is still pending at the Department of Justice.
You as a Priest should welcome any attempt for a reopening of the case against Victor Fitzgerald. If you are for Justice as you are claiming at any given chance, then let the people see you allow him that Justice. You are claiming that all the evidence is clearly against him. If that is truly the case then should you not welcome the opportunity to be proven right!
WHAT DO YOU FEAR?
I am sure, as a Priest and an honorable man you have nothing to hide. Come on, prove yourself and let us work on a reopening of the case to have your claims confirmed, your claims that Victor Fitzgerald is guilty.
May I remind you about the very and good statement Father Silverio Deltour made in a personal letter dated March 4, 2000, which was addressed to you and distributed by your own staff. Father Silverio Deltour said very striking:
You appeal to our being Christians and priests. A Christian will certainly be glad of any evidence which may show that, after all, an alleged crime was not committed and the Lord was not offended. So why would you, as a Christian not welcome such evidence, if any, and have it tested in Court? Wouldn’t we all be happy if Fitzgerald were not as bad as we thought he was? The contrary feeling would be devilish, wouldn’t it?
You may think his guilt is too obvious and that no new evidence can ever stand up in court. Again, you are entitled to your opinion, but other people think differently. Who then can decide the issue? Not the priests of Zambales, and not you either. Only the court. If you are so sure of the man’s guilt, why would you object to a review of the case? You trust the court, don’t you? Why else would you quote so extensively from the court’s decision? Or would you trust the court only if it convicts your man? Then you are biased, not seeking justice.
I am absolutely sure that in this case you will show that you are a real Priest and work together with everybody to find the truth.
Finally never forget:
Jesus said: You are in jail and I visited you!
Harry E. Joost
April 23, 2000
This is an affidavit by a former Preda worker, Rolando Besarra. He is now a member of the National Bureau of Investigation and it will through even more light on this case. I met Officer Besarra when I was in the cage behind the N.B.I. Heaquarters. I think he pitied me because he realized I didn’t have a chance against Shay Cullen, his Power in the Courts and his limitless funds.
This is an absolutely horrendous story and it is only one of many.
The following are some the document of the little Afro-Amerasian child,
No one knows what happened to her
APRIL ALCANTARA (April Davis)
born: May 29, 1982 at Olongapo City
Name of Mother: Violeta Canlapan Alcantara
Name of Father: Freddy Davis, US-navy
Characteristics: BLACK AMERASIAN
April Alcantara was born on May 29, 1982 as the daughter of Violeta C. Alcantara and the U.S. Service Man (Navy) Davis, a black American. The mother Violeta Alcantara raised her daughter April alone after Mr. Davis was transferred back to the United States.
Sometimes in January/February 1994 and while Violeta Alcantara was the caretaker of the yacht of Victor Fitzgerald; Fr. Shay Cullen of Preda, Inc. brought her daughter into a connection with the Fitzgerald case, filed by Preda. In fact, Fr. Shay Cullen “used” April as a complainant against Victor Fitzgerald, claiming that she was raped by him. According to Violeta Alcantara, they were promised Pesos 50,000. — to sign the necessary complaint against Victor Fitzgerald.
On April 27, 1994 while April Alcantara was kept under “custody” of Preda, Inc. without an order of any court of the Philippines and without a voluntary custody given by the mother, April Alcantara was brought to the Regional Health Office of Region III in San Fernando, Pampanga for a medical check up as ordered by Fr. Shay Cullen. (Attached: Medical Certificate)
April Alcantara was given back to her mother sporadically but was taken back to Preda, Inc. many times.
During the trial against Victor Fitzgerald Violeta Alcantara took her daughter April to the court sometimes in the month of April 1995 to retract her statement. She realized that Fr. Shay Cullen used her and her daughter for something she did not want from the beginning and if there were not the Pesos 50,000.— offered by Fr. Shay Cullen before. Only the promised money kept her “going” during all this time but the money was never paid. During this time she was informed about the outcome of the medical examination on April 27, 1994 and was convinced that her daughter was never been raped as Fr. Shay Cullen tried to make her believe during all the time. Violeta Alcantara now believed what her daughter told her many times. She was still a virgin.
When mother and daughter retracted their complaint, Fr. Shay Cullen asked her in the courtroom: “Why are you doing this to me”? Further he told her to change her mind or he would put her (the mother) in jail. When Violeta Alcantara told him that she was not afraid about it, he hissed at her:” I will get your daughter”. When April Alcantara and her mother left the courtroom, Violeta Alcantara saw Fr. Shay Cullen giving a signal to a man of the DSWD who followed them right away.
This man approached them outside the courtroom and told the mother that if she would not change her mind, her daughter would be taken away from her.
Shortly after this incident and right after the court hearing, April Alcantara disappeared, as two different witnesses now confirmed it. After the hearing Shay Cullen took her into his car outside the courthouse and told these witnesses that he would bring that girl April Alcantara to the DSWD as he said. According to the DSWD and during the hearing of the Habeas Corpus case, the DSWD confirmed that they saw April the last time in 1992. One very important and revealing item of the possession of April Alcantara was found the very next day inside the car of Shay Cullen (white NISSAN Pick Up) and was turned over to the proper law enforcement agency handling the case now.
Violeta Alcantara, a poor woman surviving on selling cigarettes by the stick and by selling fish given to her by some fishermen went to all police stations at Olongapo City and asked for help to find her daughter. She could not afford to hire a lawyer and borrowed money to go even up to Manila to look for April. She could not find her.
Alarmed by the plight of the mother and the daughter, the foreign community of Bo. Barretto, Olongapo City raised some money to enable Violeta Alcantara to file a “Habeas Corpus” case against Fr. Shay Cullen and the DSWD.
During this trial the DSWD presented a Xerox copy of a document, which stated that April Alcantara was turned over by the DSWD to her mother sometimes in 1992. This was correct. Being a child rooming the streets of Olongapo City and searching for some food and some small jobs by chance, she was picked up for some reason by the DSWD.
Fr. Shay Cullen, approached by Attorney Can—an during this trial, was asked when he saw April Alcantara the last time. He stated under oath that is was 1992 too as stated in the document submitted by the DSWD. When Attorney Can—an presented the medical certificate to the court and which was saying that April Alcantara was brought to the Regional Health Office, Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga by Preda Foundation and was accompanied by a certain Rolando Visara, Fr. Shay Cullen denied knowledge about it and denied to know this Rolando Visara.
The inserted portion in red is the latest development of this case and the testimonies of the witnesses inclusive the mentioned item found in the car of Shay Cullen, are now included in the complaint sheet which is in preparation.
During the time before and during the disappearance of April Alcantara, a certain Rolando Besara was the Para— Legal Officer of Preda, Inc. for several years. Rolando Besara left Preda, -Inc. later on and is now an Agent of the National Bureau of Investigation. This Rolando Besara was subpoenaed by the court and testified that he was the person to accompany April Alcantara to the Regional Health Center, Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga as ordered by Fr. Shay Cullen.
At this stage the Habeas Corpus Trial ended. Fr. Shay Cullen and the representative of the DSWD denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of April Alcantara.
QUESTIONS STILL OPEN:
- Is April Alcantara (Davis) still alive or was she “given” away for adoption without the knowledge of her mother? BY WHOM?
- Why did the police not search for April Alcantara?
- Why did the DSWD not act on a case of a missing child?
- Why did Fr. Shay Cullen and during the Habeas Corpus Case tell the court that he saw April Alcantara the last time in 1992 and according to the document presented by the DSWD, when he was in fact the person who ordered her to be brought to the Regional Health Office, Region III, San Fernando, Pampanga on April 27, 1994. Why didn’t he acknowledge his Para— Legal Officer Rolando Besara being the same person, which was called by mistake Rolando Visara, even if the name sounded almost the same?
- Why did Fr. Shay Cullen publish in many writings like newspaper article, columns and on Internet almost regularly that Violeta Alcantara was mentally not fit, educationally not qualified to raise children, that she had no feeling for children, she was mental not in the condition to understand what a child means for a mother and more? These writings were repeated regularly and most of the times written in no visible or noticeable connection to the subject of the different writings. Was there a desperate need to justify something? Or did the conscience bother somebody?
- WHERE IS APRIL ALCANTARA?
The document above is in Tagalog – I have searched all the files I have but I cannot find a translation.
I believe this story shows exactly what kind of a person Fr. Shay Cullen, Irish Missionary Priest of the Columban Order, the “Protector of Women and Children” really is.