Baptist pastor who campaigned vs drugs shot dead in Cebu City
CEBU CITY — A Baptist Church pastor who actively campaigned against illegal drugs was shot dead by two unidentified men in Barangay Bonbon, Cebu City, Sunday afternoon.
Crisostomo Maternal Jr., an evangelist of the Bonbon Mission Church, was driving his motorcycle on his way home when two motorcycle-riding men shot him past 5 p.m.
The 46-year-old pastor suffered a gunshot wound in the left temple near his ear.
He was rushed to the Perpetual Succor Hospital but was declared dead on arrival by attending physicians.
Senior Insp. Elisandro Quijano, the homicide section chief of the Cebu City Police Office, said Maternal had tipped authorities about illegal drug operations in Bonbon.
The victim, he said, also educated people about the ill-effects of drugs in his sermons.
“Based on the information that we received, Maternal was an anti-drug crusader,” Quijano said in an interview.
But he said they were considering all angles.
“Personal grudge might also be involved here. So we really have to look at all the possibilities,” Quijano said.
Quijano said Maternal campaigned for a political group prior and during the May 9 elections.
Acting Cebu City Mayor Margot Osmeña said Maternal was one of the leaders of the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) in Bonbon.
Quijano said Maternal had received death threats sent through text messages a day before he was killed.
The police officer advised anti-drug crusaders to coordinate with them if they received death threats.
“Anti-drug crusaders really help the police in our campaign against illegal drugs. But it’s not easy to have that kind of advocacy. Being an anti-drug crusader entails risks. And so if you receive threats, please tell the police,” Quijano said. SFM/rga