Another priest was shot dead on a Sunday afternoon, June 10 right before celebrating a mass inside the San Pablo Chapel in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) identified the priest as Father Richmond Nilo of the Diocese of Cabanatuan. The said priest was gunned down by unknown assailants around 5:00 pm while he was about to officiate a mass inside the chapel.
Nilo was the former President of the College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan City.
The 43-year-old priest death came a month after Father Mark Ventura, was gunned down by armed assailants right after celebrating Sunday mass at a gymnasium in Brgy. Pena Weste, Gattaran in Cagayan Province on April 29.
On December 4, activist priest Fr. Marcelito Paez was also gunned down in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, while Fr. Rey Urmeneta of the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Calamba was wounded in a shooting attack in Laguna just weeks ago.
Nilo was the third priest killed in a span of six months.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Amador Corpuz of PNP Central Luzon said a Special Investigation task force was formed to look into the murder of Nilo. He also added that they are currently looking into two motives as seen in the CCTV and the pieces of evidence left inside the area. However, PNP refused to disclose the further details to the media.
“Meron po kaming sinusundang motibo pero kelangan pang i-confirm ng task group dahil medyo sensitive yung issue”, Corpuz said.
Also, recovered in the crime scene are seven bullets that were allegedly from a Caliber 45 gun used by the two unidentified gunmen who shot Nilo through the window and escaped on a motorcycle afterward.