Priest gunned down in Bukidnon
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY –– A priest from the Diocese of Malaybalay was shot and killed on his way back to his seminary in Barangay Patpat, Malaybalay City around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Policemen who answered the call for help from priests at the St. John XXIII College Seminary found Fr. Rene Regalado already dead “with gunshots on his head.”
In the report, Lt. Col. Jerry Tambis, Malaybalay city police chief, said the victim was bathed in his blood, with gunshot wounds on his head.
Police investigator Staff Sgt Jeffrey LLoren said the body of Father Regalado was found some three meters from his service vehicle, a Chevrolet SUV. He said this was just a few meters from the gate of the Carmelite Monastery in Sitio Pal-ing, Barangay Patpat.
“His left eye had contusions as if he was mauled before his death. Father Regalado was already dead when we arrived,” Lloren said.
He added they also found the left arm of the murdered priest “tied with a white shoelace.”
The police also found a Colt .45 pistol with ten unspent bullets and one empty shell.
“The unspent bullets were extracted from the pistol, which was also left behind by the suspects,” he said.
Lloren could not say if the suspects extracted the bullets intentionally and left the pistol near the head of the slain priest.
He said the family of Father Regalado in Barangay Sinayawan, Valencia City had requested an autopsy on the body, which was brought to the Villanueva Funeral Homes in Malaybalay City last night.
Priests from St. John XXIII College Seminary called the police after hearing several gunshots at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
He said the priest was going home to St. John XXIII College Seminary when the suspects stopped his vehicle on the secluded road.
The Diocese of Malaybalay, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, condemned the murder and demanded justice.
“The diocese of Malaybalay with its clergy, consecrated persons, and lay faithful, especially the Regalado family in San Jose Parish,
Sinayawan, Valencia City, are deeply wounded and saddened with the news of the untimely passing of one [their] clergy,” the statement said.
The Diocese said the slain priest would be laid at the San Isidro Labrador Cathedral in Malaybalay after the autopsy. He would be buried at the Malaybalay Catholic Cemetery.
Regalado, also known as “Paring Bukidnon,” frequently endorsed farmers’ issues and organic farming in his social blogs.
He was ordained on Oct. 18, 2007 by Bukidnon Bishop emeritus Honesto acana S.J.
He finished theological studies at the St. John Mary Vianney Theological Seminary in Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City, and his Baccalaureate degree in Theology at San Isidro College.
He took his pre-college and college seminary formation at St. John XXIII in Malaybalay City.
Captain Jiselle Ester Lou Longakit, Bukidnon provincial police spokesperson, said Regalado had been assigned in Lala town, Lanao del Norte but had been serving in the Malaybalay diocese since December last year. With a report from Jigger Jerusalem
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