Albayalde: Killing of priests ‘not cause for public alarm’
The recent murder of priests should not be a cause for alarm for the public, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Oscar D. Albayalde said Monday, saying the murders were isolated and not a reflection of the country’s peace and security situation.
While expressing alarm over the killings, Albayalde said in a press conference at Camp Crame that the series of murders should not be a gauge of the overall crime situation in the Philippines.
“’Di naman siguro [It’s unlikely], probably [it’s a cause of alarm] on our part but not on the public,” Albayalde said when asked if the incidents should be a cause for alarm.
“’Di naman siguro pupwede maging gauge (ang mga) namatay na pari. ‘Di naman araw araw may namamatay na pari. These are isolated cases. But then again, itong patayan ‘di pwedeng pabayaan,” he added.
(I don’t think the killings of priests should be a gauge of the crime situation in the country. It’s not every day priests are getting killed. These are isolated cases. But then again, these killings should not be disregarded.)
Catholic priest Fr. Richmond Nilo was killed by motorcycle-riding suspects near the altar of Barangay Mayamot chapel at Zaragosa town in Nueva Ecija at around 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Nilo, 40, was dressing up at the back of the altar to prepare for the Mass when the suspects shot him through the chapel’s window.
He was the third priest and the second in Nueva Ecija to be killed in the past three months: Fr. Mark Ventura, who was gunned down after celebrating Mass in Gattaran, Cagayan, in April; and Fr. Marcelito Paez, who was killed a few hours after assisting the release of a political prisoner in Jaen, Nueva Ecija last December.
Last week, the Global Peace Index 2018 ranked the Philippines as the second ‘least peaceful’ country in Asia Pacific after North Korea.
Albayalde said he already ordered commanders on the ground to coordinate with priests in their corresponding areas to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
He also called on priests under threat to seek help from the police.
“Hindi natin pwede basashin yung isip [ng mga tao]. Kung may threat sana nasabi sa atin baka na-prevent yung pangyayari,” Albayalde said.
(We cannot read the minds of people. If there was a threat, they could have had relayed it to the police to prevent it from happening.) /cbb
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