AN opposition House leader asked Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde to take back his statement that the recent killings of priests were just isolated cases and should not be a cause for alarm.
“Dapat lamang na bawiin po ni Director General Albayalde ang kanyang pahayag. Tatlong pari po ang pinatay, papaanong naging isolated cases ang mga iyan?” House senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Hayaang Yumabong (Buhay) party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said following the murder of Fr. Richmond V. Nilo of the Diocese of Cabanatuan last Sunday.
Atienza advised Albayalde to be sensitive enough in issuing statements as this could be misconstrued that he is not doing his job.
“Mas makakabuti sa ating lahat kung hahanapan ni Gen. Albayalde ng solusyon para matigil ang mga pagpatay. May pattern na ang nangyari sa tatlong pari,” Atienza explained.
“Kung hindi mapipigilan iyan, malalagay sa kuwestiyon ang kanyang kakayahang mamuno bilang pinakamataas na lider ng ating pambansang kapulisan,” Atienza explained.
“Kailangang matigil na ang kawalan ng respeto sa karapatan ng mga Pilipino na mabuhay ng malaya,” Atienza pointed out.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, the de facto leader of the Magnificent 7 or the so-called House Independent Bloc, has condemned the brutal murder of Fr. Nilo and called on the Duterte administration to swiftly bring the killers to justice.
“Just like the killings of the poor in the ongoing drug war, killings of journalists and indigenous people’s leaders, no one has been brought to justice,” said Baguilat.
“This tyranny and impunity have led the President to warn that lawlessness is taking over the country and yet he has also repeatedly declared his vow to bring peace and order to the Philippines. I sincerely hope that he will make good on his words and bring justice to victims like Fr. Nilo,” said Baguilat.
Fr. Nilo was about to celebrate Mass in the chapel of Brgy. Mayamot, Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija when he was shot dead around 5 p.m. Sunday by still unidentified suspects.
The murder of Fr. Nilo, Parish Priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza and financial administrator of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, marks the third killing of a priest in the country in six months, following the killing of Fr. Mark Ventura in Gattaran, Cagayan on April 29 and Fr. Marcelito Paez in Jaen, Nueva Ecija on December 4 last year, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines news site said.
On June 6, Fr. Rey Urmeneta of the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Calamba was wounded after being shot by unidentified suspects