Free Tom Randall Facebook page launches 'world is watching' campaign targeting Filipino FBI

by Tim Troglen | reporter Published:

Members of the Free Tom Randall Facebook page launched a "world is watching" campaign Jan. 27 targeted at the National Bureau of Investigation Facebook page.

The NBI is the Filipino equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An "action request" was posted on the Free Tom Randall page shortly after noon.

"Tom's hearing at the NBI should be within 48 hours," the posting read. "Please go to their Facebook site below and post the message 'the world is watching #FreeTomRandall' and then please pray."

The Free Tom Randall Facebook page has almost 36,000 likes since its Jan. 14 creation. Although it is made up in part of members of Christ Community Chapel, the church is not in control of the Facebook page.

Randall, a pastor at Hudson's Christ Community Chapel, 750 W. Streetsboro St., has been in jail in the Philippines since his Jan. 12 arrest. Randall has been awaiting a hearing to determine if he will stand trial or be freed on a charge stemming from a human trafficking investigation at Sankey Samaritan Orphanage, which Randall founded.

Randall has been charged with negligence in the case, according to the Rev. Joe Coffey, lead pastor at the church. Randall was arrested Jan. 12, along with Toto and Jake Luchavez.

Church members have been fearful of Randall's health and safety since his arrest. There has been communication through visits with Randall's wife, Karen, and about 580 text messages Randall has sent to Coffey.

And, it appears, just over a week after Randall was afraid he would die in his cell, conditions are improving.

According to Karen, during a Jan. 26 visit "We had a table full of friends and food and loved every minute of it."

"Tom is doing well," according to Karen. "He finally met with the National Bureau of Investigation doctor almost five days after the paperwork was submitted and he was feeling so much better he decided to just stay with Toto and Jake in the detention center. His blood pressure is way down, he looks good, he is starting to walk in the small space provided and is doing laps to keep moving. I think he is really starting to feel the confined spaces now that he is feeling better."

Randall, of Stow, has been a missionary to the Philippines for about 20 years, Coffey said.

During the weekend visit, Randall was allowed his unicycle, according to Karen.

"He was able to ride it for everyone there," Karen said. "He even put a little girl on his shoulders and rode with her. She was trying to look brave but I think she was mostly worried about everyone looking at her."

On Jan. 27 Karen said that Randall "lifted weights, did push ups and 20 laps around the courtyard on his unicycle today."

"There is a very small basketball half court, big enough to shoot free throws, and sometimes Tom is allowed there to exercise," Karen said. "When Toto's family came from Lucena yesterday they brought a big ice chest of goat meat and pusit or squid. He is cooking it up for their dinner tonight and sharing it with everyone as far as it will stretch. Tom will eat some of it but he may not be as excited as the Filipinos that will have some."

Karen is planning another visit with Randall Jan. 29, she said.

"Hopefully will have some news about the case," Karen said.

Jan. 29 is the date that Filipino officials must let Randall know if he will be tried or set free.

"According to Filipino court filing procedures, Randall can be held for 15 days, or until Jan. 29, when he will either be released from this charge and prison, or a decision will be made to try him for negligence in court," according to a church press release issued Jan. 23. "Several hearing dates have been scheduled and rescheduled."

Email: ttroglen@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9435

Facebook: TimTroglenRPC

Twitter: @Trog_RPC

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