Priest fa­tally shot at al­tar of Philip­pine Catholic church

The Myanmar Times - - Asean Focus -

Two gun­men killed a Ro­man Catholic priest as he pre­pared to cel­e­brate Mass at the al­tar of a chapel in the north­ern Philip­pines, in the lat­est deadly at­tack on a priest in Asia’s largest pre­dom­i­nantly Catholic na­tion, po­lice said Mon­day.

The two men shot the Rev. Rich­mond Nilo with pis­tols Sun­day night in the chapel in Zaragoza town in Nueva Ecija prov­ince. The gun­men, who fired through a chapel win­dow, fled on a mo­tor­cy­cle and were be­ing hunted by po­lice.

The Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence of the Philip­pines said Nilo was the third Catholic priest to be killed in the coun­try in re­cent months, and con­demned the “out­ra­geously evil act.” The killing left a pool of blood be­low the statue of the Vir­gin Mary.

“We are deeply sad­dened and ter­ri­bly dis­turbed that an­other priest is bru­tally killed,” Arch­bishop Romulo Valles, who heads the Catholic bish­ops’ group. “We make our ap­peal once again to the po­lice author­i­ties to act swiftly in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and to go af­ter the per­pe­tra­tors of this heinous crime and bring them to jus­tice.”

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s ad­min­is­tra­tion con­demned the killing. Po­lice created a spe­cial force to in­ves­ti­gate the at­tack, de­ter­mine the mo­tive and iden­tify and cap­ture those re­spon­si­ble.

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