Hudson pastor remains in Philippines jail

By Tim Troglen | Hub-Times Published:

It appears a pastor from Christ Community Chapel's Hudson campus will remain in a Philippine jail cell until at least Monday.

A hearing which would have determined the fate of Tom Randall, which was supposed to be no later than Wednesday, was delayed.

Randall, of Stow, was arrested in the Philippines Jan. 12 after an investigation of alleged human trafficking by Filipino officials at the Sankey Samaritan Orphanage, which Randall founded.

Randall was not charged with human trafficking, but was charged with negligence, according to officials at the Hudson church at 750 W. Streetsboro St.

According to Filipino court filing procedures, Randall could have been held for 15 days, or until Wednesday, when charges should have either been dropped or a decision made to try him, according to a Jan. 23 church press release. As of press time, Randall remained in jail.

"This is not the news I had hoped to share with you today," Randall's wife, Karen, posted on the "Free Tom Randall" Facebook page. "But, we have more waiting to do."

The page, which has gained more than 36,200 likes since its Jan. 14 inception, is made up of Randall supporters from across the world. The page is independent of, and not affiliated with, Christ Community Chapel.

Karen Randall, who is in Manila, was told the reason for the delay was statements regarding the case, but understood the Philippine Department of Justice was going to "extend its hours today (Jan. 30) to accommodate any action the resolution would rule on."

"Tonight (Jan. 30) at 5:45 I got word that the resolution was basically finished but the prosecutor general who must sign the resolution was gone already," Karen Randall wrote. "And tomorrow is a holiday, the Chinese New Year, and then the weekend so nothing can happen until Monday to get that final signature so the resolution can be handed down."

Karen Randall posted that she was "wavering between absolute disbelief and agony," after hearing of the latest delay.

"I was able to get a minute with Tom on the phone and he is OK but just really disappointed," she said.

Randall, who has been a missionary to the Philippines for about 20 years, was arrested along with Toto and Jake Luchavez.

Karen Randall was on the missionary trip with her husband, but was not charged or arrested.

"I have no doubt but I got my hopes up that we were at the finish line. The finish line just got moved a little bit," she said. "I was picturing us on our scheduled flight on Monday, Feb. 3. But now we have to change the flights and the other wrinkle is that our visa expires on the 4th. Inconveniences, yes, but I know God isn't about to let go of us now."

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435

Facebook: TimTroglenRPC

Twitter: @Trog_RPC

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