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Even churches aren’t safe: Bam laments priest’s killing in Nueva Ecija

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Senator Bam Aquino on Thursday deplored that almost everyone is no longer safe from criminality–even inside a church.

He expressed serious concerns over the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo and two other priests, saying it underscores the growing culture of impunity and escalating violence in the country.

“Nangyari ito sa isang sagradong lugar, sa harap ng maraming tao,” said Aquino, as he visited the Nilo’s wake in Nueva Ecija.

“Wala nang ligtas kahit sino, kahit saan. Pati loob ng ating mga simbahan pinasok na ng karahasan,” he said.

As a response, the senator intends to file a resolution to investigate the peace and order situation in the country in light of the “flagrant killings of religious leaders.”

“The deaths of the three Catholic priests in public and out in the open has roused fear and deep anguish to Filipinos who find comfort in their faith and religious community,” he said.

He added that the incidents merit a probe so Congress can support the quest for justice and strengthen efforts to ensure the safety and security of our country’s religious leaders.

On June 10, Nilo, was shot by two unknown assailants as he was walking towards the altar to preside over Sunday mass at a small chapel of Nuestra Senora dela Nieve, in Barangay Mayamot in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija.

There have been 4 known attacks on Catholic priests in the past 6 months, resulting in 3 deaths.

“Ito ba ang peace and order na pinangako ng administrasyon? Ang mga mahihirap at mga tagapagtanggol ng mga mahihirap ang nabibiktima,” he added.

Detained Senator Leila de Lima believes that the President Rodrigo Duterre’s continued attacks against the Catholic church triggered the killing of Nilo on June 10, Fr. Mark Ventura on April 28, and Fr. Marcelito Paez, on Dec. 4, 2017.

They were all gunned down by unidentified assailants who fled on motorcycles.

Fr. Rey Urmeneta of Calamba, Laguna was severely wounded after he was shot by unidentified armed men on June 6.