Posted at 02/14/2012 5:25 PM | Updated as of 02/14/2012 5:25 PM
by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
DALY CITY, California – The former lover of a Filipino priest who was convicted of child molestation is finally speaking out.
Father Jose Superiaso may have served his time in prison, but his former lover said the community should remain vigilant.
The Filipina, who did not want to be identified, said she was in her 20s and a youth coordinator for the church when she began a sexual relationship with Superiaso in the 1990s.
She described Superiaso as an “enigma,” articulate and charismatic.
The affair started when she confided in Superiaso that she had been molested in the past by a priest in the Philippines. Superiaso, she said, took advantage of her vulnerability.
“He was the keeper of my secret and then soon enough, he started making advances towards me,” she said.
Their secret relationship would last for a few years.
To her utter shock, she discovered that Superiaso was also having a sexual relationship with her much younger sister, who was then only 12 years old.
“She was in junior high, just 12. It didn’t occur to me that what he was doing to me, he would to do to my sister,” she said.
She and her family reported the priest to the police.
Superiaso was arrested and pleaded guilty to child molestation in 2005. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Last January 24, he was finally released. Since he is not a US citizen, he was immediately turned over to immigration authorities and is now in deportation proceedings.
Concerned, she wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Manila, saying: “I beg you to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults by preventing Superiaso from continuing to minister in Manila or any other part of the country.”
Another Filipino, a former parishioner who also refused to be identified, said he was a good friend of Superiaso and defended him prior to his guilty plea.
While he agreed that Superiaso should not be allowed to return to priesthood in the Philippines, he said the priest should be forgiven.
“Even though he was accused of doing something wrong, he still has faith in the Church and Christ. I believe that he will be a changed person. I hope for the best,” he said.
US immigration officials said it would take about two months for the judge to decide on Superiaso’s deportation to the Philippines.