Priests’ killings might be due to religious beliefs, advocacies — VACC
The murder of a Catholic priest in Nueva Ecija on Sunday and the killing of other members of the clergy may have been brought by their beliefs and stand on particular issues, said an official of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC).
“Lumalabas sa social media, may mga head-on collision kasi siya sa ibang sector at ibang religion […] parang before his killing meron siyang debate or something,” VACC vice chair Aresnio Evangelista said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer on Monday.
Evangelista was referring to Fr. Richmond Nilo, who was gunned down by two unidentified gunmen on Sunday night in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, as he was preparing to celebrate Mass inside the Nuestra Señora de la Nieve Chapel.
“Being an advocate, crusader o isinusulong mo ‘yong religion mo, eh meron ka ring paglalagayan. Karamihan ganun eh. ‘Yung mga environmentalists din, because of their advocacy, nalalagay po ang buhay nila sa alanganin,” he added.
According to a spot report from the Nueva Ecija Police Provincial Office, the 40-year old priest was shot four times through a window.
Nilo is the third priest to be murdered in less than a year after Fr. Mark Ventura was slain on April 29 in Cagayan and Fr. Marcelito Paez on December 5, 2017, in Nueva Ecija also.
READ: Priest shot dead while celebrating Mass in Nueva Ecija
However, Evangelista said that he had qualms regarding the possible motive for killing Nilo, which some believe stemmed from his supposed participation in an upcoming inter-faith debate.
“Personally hindi ako naniniwala sa gano’n, pero nagpa-pop up ‘yon sa police report. Isa siya sa motivating factor o angulo, pero mahina ‘yon. Ang tanong dyan is that enough motivation to kill ang isang pari,” Evangelista said.
“Baka mayroon ding isang grupo na nagmi-mislead doon sa investigation, ‘yong diversion,” he added. /cbb
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