A priest admitted that he is saddened and frightened by the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo inside a church in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija last June 11.
Fr. Nilo is the third Catholic priest that was murdered in the last seven months.
“Natural bilang isang tao, natural bilang isang pari, kami ay lubhang nalulungkot at nababagabag. Hindi lang doon, nandoon rin ang takot sa aming mga puso,” Fr. Bong Turingan of Diocese of Batanes said during DZRH’s One On One.
According to the director of studies of the Sto. Domingo Formation House, the explanation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the incident is an isolated case since priests sometimes get into a dispute while fulfilling their duty.
“May mga dahilan. Ang mga pari, tao rin katulad rin ng mga ordinaryong tao. Minsan sa pagsasagawa, pagtataguyod ng kanilang misyon ay may mga pangyayarin nakakasakit o di kaya ay natatamaan,” Turingan said.
“Nagiging hudyat o nagiging ugat kung bakit nagkakaroon ng samaan ng loob,” Turingan added.
However, Turingan insisted that people should not resort to murder in order to settle disputes.
“Hindi dapat maging solusyon ang tinatawag na pagkitil ng buhay. Lalong-lalo na sa mga pari,” Turingan said.
“May mga pulin din na pinapatay, may mga abugado sa ating hudikatura, mga ordinaryong tao. Kaya isinusulong ng simbahan, hindi lang ng simabahang Katolika if I’m mistaken, lahat naman tayo ayaw natin maging solusyon ang pagpatay o pag-kitil ng buhay,” Turingan added.
The priest insisted that people should follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in loving the people who hate you or are against you.
“Dati-dati, mata sa mata, ngipin sa ngipin pero ang tinuturo ng ating Mahal na Panginoong Hesus Kristo ay mahalin mo maging ang mga taong may ayaw sa iyo, mahalin mo ang mga taong galit sa iyo. It is a very radical methodology of Christ,” Turing said.
The PNP has already promised that they are prioritizing the resolution of the murder of Fr. Nilo, and are already searching for five suspects, the riding-in-tandem and three lookouts, who also drove the get-away vehicle.
The police are also looking at three motives in the death of Fr. Nilo: his involvement in land disputes, his aid to raped and molested minors, and his criticisms of other religious groups.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte is alarmed by the death of priests, and denied the allegations that the incidents is caused by the President’s statements against the church.