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Is the fake priest in Catanduanes?

Last Feb. 24, 2021, Msgr. Manolo A. delos Santos, the Bishop of Virac, issued an advisory to the Catholic priests in Catanduanes.

It said that a certain Fr. Xavier Eubra de Borja, who reportedly belongs to the Diocese of Novaliches, is in town.

“Upon inquiry with Fr. Marlou Lemaire of the Diocese of Novaliches, I was informed that no priest by the name of Fr. Xavier Eubra de Borja is incardinated in the Diocese of Novaliches,” the bishop said.

And to make sure of the status of said priest, Msgr. Delos Santos thoroughly looked for his name in the recently published 2020-2021 Catholic Directory of the Philippines and found none.

“In case he approaches Your Reverences, please do not allow him to celebrate Mass at your Church or at any Barangay chapels under your jurisdiction. Furthermore, please advise our people that the same Fr. Xavier Eubra de Borja is not listed in the Catholic Directory of the Philippines as a bona fide member of the Catholic Clergy in the Philippines,” stressed the advisory.

In June 2010, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) announced that on May 30 that year, the same Fr. Xavier Eubra de Borja was excommunicated for being a fake priest.

“Being excommunicated, De Borja is banned from participating in Mass, Communion or other religious ceremonies even as a participant,” the CBCP said in its news site.

Cubao Diocese Bishop Honesto Ongtioco made the decision after discovering De Borja was not a real priest, the report said.

It added that de Borja grew up at St. Ignatius village and was a parishioner of Christ the King Parish at Greenmeadows, where he served as altar boy during his school days.

He supposedly left the country and entered a seminary in Russia and returned in 2009 for a vacation. By then, he identified himself as an “ordained priest” and went around the parish in black cassock. De Borja even had clerical robes and showed documents that he is a member of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine based in France.

\”Sources said De Borja’s family being parishioners and upon the recommendation of several parishioners, he was accepted as ‘guest priest’ while on vacation prior to his ‘return to his current assignment in Russia,'” the CBCP said. But a check with Vladivostok-based Mary Mother of God Mission Society website revealed no Filipino priest has ever been assigned there.

Investigation showed De Borja even celebrated the Eucharist, heard confessions, and conducted retreats and recollections. He reportedly attracted parishioners with his celebration of the Mass described as “reminiscent of all the reverence and strict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated.”

The CBCP said De Borja was also reported to have delivered “good homily” during Mass and knows how to say the Holy Mass in Latin and Traditional (Tridentine) Latin Mass. He also heard confessions and accepted invitations to conduct retreats and recollections for various parish-based organizations.

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Incidentally, this very past week, this ten-year old CBCP report and other news about the fake priest became a topic of conversation on social media among Pandananons, especially among those opposed to the proposed Waste-to-Energy (WTE) project.

Included in the quoted reports was a photograph of Fr. De Borja, who bears an uncanny similarity with Rafael-Javier Eubra, the president and chief executive officer of Opus Energy Solutions, Inc. that entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Caramoran municipal government for the very same WTE supposedly to be built in Bocon in the first part of 2020.

Later reports referred to the Opus president and CEO as Esberto B. Eubra Jr., the same man who signed the MOU with Pandan Mayor Honesto Tabligan II sometime in the last quarter of 2020 but this time as president and CEO of Asia Pacific Renewable Energy Solutions, Inc. (APRES).

The APRES website, however, indicates its president and CEO is Rafael-Javier Eubra, describing him as “a highly talented, multi-disciplined business leader” with more than a decade’s experience in many fields, including banking, hospitality, food and beverage, Import-export and customer relations.

Is Rafael-Javier Eubra also known as Esberto Eubra Jr. or are they different persons?

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US-based Vedasto Pielago wants friends and acquaintances here in the island that his son, Stan Wesley “Noynoy” Enriquez Pielago passed away at the age of 36 on February 23, 2021 in San Diego, California due to heart failure. Our condolences to the family of Vedasto, a loyal reader of the Tribune….

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Residents of Capilihan, Virac are signing a petition asking either NPC or FICELCO for damages after the high-voltage power line of NPC’s transmission lines touched the distribution lines last Feb. 19. The resulting overvoltage destroyed or damaged many appliances.

More on this next issue as GM Raul Zafe was on travel last week.

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THE LABOR CODE VIOLATOR. A farmer received a visit from a government official over allegations that he was paying his staff less than the minimum wage. The official asked for a list of his employees and details of their pay.

“All right,” said the farmer. “I have a hired man, been here with me for three years. I pay him $600 a week, plus room and board. There’s a cook – she’s been here six months. She gets $500 a week, plus room and board.”

“Anybody else?” asked the official as he scribbled on a pad.

“Yeah,” said the farmer. “There’s one guy here is none too bright. He works about 18 hours a day. I pay him ten dollars a week and a bit of beer money.”

“Aha!” roared the official. “That’s the man I want to talk to.”

“Speaking,” said the farmer.

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