Controversial Filipino healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez has died after collapsing while playing tennis at the Ayala Alabang Club House in Muntinlupa City early Tuesday, February 4.
According to his spokesperson Deedee Siytangco, Suarez was playing tennis against his fellow priests when the incident happened.
Siytangco said she witnessed Suarez winning two sets of tennis singles against two priests before he collapsed due to a heart attack.
“Today is the first day of the tournament. He (Suarez) played two sets that he both won. In the first two games, he looked okay. On his third set, he just collapsed,” she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“(Witnesses) said he was sluggish but still went on and he collapsed,” she added.
Siytangco said the priest was rushed to the Asian Hospital, but to no avail.
“I think he was already dead when we arrived here (in the hospital),” Siytangco said.
“He’s still in the morgue so we don’t know the cause of death,” she added.
Siytangco said Suarez, a known tennis enthusiast, has been holding annual tennis tournaments for priests at the Ayala Alabang Club House for the past several years.
Suarez, known around the country for his healing ministry, has been absolved by the Vatican over allegations of sexually harassing minors last month.
In a letter dated December 13, 2019, the Vatican informed Judicial Vicar and retired Novaliches Bishop Rev. Antonio Tobias about the “not guilty” verdict of Suarez.
“This means that he has been falsely accused of these crimes and, therefore, nothing now stands in the way for him to exercise his healing ministry, provided it is done properly in coordination with the ecclesiastical authority of every ecclesiastical jurisdiction,” Tobias wrote.
After being cleared of a sexual harassment charge, Siytangco said Suarez has a plan to revive his healing ministry.
The healing priest would have been 53 on Friday, February 7.