Palace vows to bring killers of priests to justice
Father Richmond Nilo, who was shot dead before celebrating a mass Wednesday, was the third priest killed in a span of six months.
Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

Palace vows to bring killers of priests to justice

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 13, 2018 - 11:17am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday assured the Catholic Church that the government is doing what it takes to investigate the killings of clergymen and vowed that it would put the killers behind bars.

“We join the Catholic bishops and faithful in condemning the murder of Catholic priests, namely, Fr. Mark Ventura, Fr. Tito Paez and Fr. Richmond Nilo,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque’s statement came a day after the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese, headed by Archbishop Socrates Villegas, released a strongly worded statement expressing outrage over the killing of Nilo in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija last Sunday.

The clergymen urged on President Rodrigo Duterte to stop what they called “verbal persecution of the Catholic Church,” stressing that such attacks feed violence against priests.

READ‘They’re killing the shepherds’: Archbishop Villegas laments killing of Nueva Ecija priest

Roque said that the Philippine National Police will work closely with the Church to create measures to protect the men of the cloth.

“The president himself has ordered an intensified campaign to further expand the significant strides we made in the peace and order situation in the country, as acknowledged by various reports,” he said.

The president’s mouthpiece, moreover, claimed that the spate of killings of priests was a way of “lawless elements” to discredit the administration’s efforts.

“We must stand united against these purveyors of crime and together advance the peace and security of the nation and the Church,” Roque said.

He earlier stressed that the attacks of President Rodrigo Duterte against the Church have nothing to do with the killings of priests.  

In several speeches, Duterte lambasted the Catholic Church, accusing priests of engaging in corruption and questioning their teachings. At one point, the president said that the Catholic Church, which has been critical of the government’s policies, is “full of ****.”

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that the police force is treating the case of Nilo seriously. There are two persons of interest in the investigation, he added.

Nilo, who was shot dead before celebrating a mass Wednesday, was the third priest killed in a span of six months.

ARCHBISHOP SOCRATES VILLEGAS RICHMOND NILO
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with