The Diocese of Baguio has informed us that men wearing white robes or cassocks seeking donations, especially from Baguio and Benguet officials, are not connected with the Roman Catholic Church. This, amidst flooding of queries from Catholic faithful in Baguio about men in white robes holding white folders, are seen roaming the city and
nearby towns here. The Diocese of Baguio stated that these men are so called members of “Filipino Katoliko,” which, according to a statement it issued, “is not affiliated to any Diocese, Religious Congregation, or Institute of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.”

A photograph of a solicitation letter with the letterhead of the “Filipino Katoliko” was attached to the statement of the same Diocese. In the letter, the “Filipino Katolikos” claim that their officers and members agreed to raise funds for the construction of their new church building in Bigaan, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur since their old building was
affected by a road widening. The group also claimed that the funds were also for the renovation of their other church
buildings. “In this connection, we are knocking at your kind and benevolent heart to share with us your blessings through VOLUNTARY DONATION…”” the same solicitation letter indicated.

On its Facebook pages, “Filipino Katoliko” and “Filipino Katoliko Missionaries,” the group posted photographs where some members with white folders paid courtesy calls to Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, Baguio City Police Chief Col. Francis Bulwayan, and also neighboring Municipality of La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda. It was not known if the officials donated to “Filipino Katoliko.”. On the “Filipino Katoliko Facebook page, the warning of the Baguio Diocese was acknowledged and claimed to have no intention to create confusion or disrespect to the existing denominations or the whole of the Roman Catholic Church or other Christian and Catholic churches.

In a letter to its believers, “Filipino Katoliko” head, a certain Bishop Pedro P. Fenis Jr. admitted that they are soliciting heartily-given donations of any kind. The donations are for their congregation and missionary work, Fenis Jr. explained. On February 20, 2024, the Diocese of Sorsogon issued a statement against the group of Fenis Jr. Earlier on April 19, 2023, the Surigao City government revoked the certificate of the Filipino Katoliko Inc.—Religious Group Organization “due to several complaints of untoward behavior.” “The organization was given permission to visit respective offices in their desire to solicit financial help for church renovation activities last Monday, April 17, 2023; however, their certificate has been officially revoked today, April 19, 2023,” the Surigao City Public Information Office said, also urging “the public to report any unauthorized activities of the said organization.”

AAD/Feurella Forosan/UC-Intern

Amianan Balita Ngayon