Fr. Mark Ventura, 37, had just concluded the mass in a gymnasium in Barangay Piña Weste when he was killed.
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Priest shot dead after mass
Raymund Catindig (The Philippine Star) - April 30, 2018 - 12:00am

TUGUEGARAO, Philippines — A Catholic priest was shot dead by an unidentified assailant shortly after celebrating mass in Gattaran, Cagayan yesterday morning. 

Fr. Mark Ventura, 37, had just concluded the mass in a gymnasium in Barangay Piña Weste when he was killed.

Ventura was blessing children when the assailant arrived and shot him at around 8:15 a.m., according Chief Inspector Rodel Tabulog, chief of the Gattaran police.

The victim died at the scene from gunshots to the head and chest.

The assailant fled on a waiting motorcycle.

Ventura was director of the San Isidro Labrador Mission Station based in nearby Barangay Mabuno and former rector at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Major Seminary in Lyceum of Aparri.

He was a known anti-mining advocate, according to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Ventura was the second priest to be killed in four months, after Fr. Marcelito Paez who was shot dead in Jaen, Nueva Ecija in December.

The CBCP condemned the killing and urged authorities to arrest the suspect.

Police have yet to determine the motive for the killing.

A manhunt has been launched for the killer. – Victor Martin, Kurt dela Peña, Edu Punay, Cecille Suerte Felipe

CATHOLIC PRIEST KILLED
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