A priest was shot dead in southern Philippines on Sunday, the fourth member of the clergy to be killed in four years in Asia’s bastion of Christianity.
Fr. Rene Regalado was found dead at around 8:00 p.m. along a road near the Malaybalay Carmel Monastery in Malaybalay City’s Patpat village.
Initial information gathered by the Malaybalay diocese revealed that gunshots were heard at around 7:30pm prompting the monastery to call for police assistance.
It said the priest’s car indicated that he was on his way back to the St. John XXIII College Seminary where he was staying.
Local police investigation showed that Regalado had a bruise near his left eye and a white shoe lace was tied on his left hand.
The diocese condemned the incident saying that they are “deeply wounded” over the killing of the 42-year-old priest.
They also pressed for an investigation so that “justice will be served to the perpetrators of this heinous crime without compromising the Lord’s gift of mercy”.
Regalado’s killing came around three years after another priest, Richmond Nilo, was killed as he was about to hold Mass at a chapel in Zaragoza, a town in Nueva Ecija province.
In April 2018, Fr. Mark Ventura was gunned by two men on a motorcycle in the northern province of Cagayan.
In December 2017, Fr. Marcelito Paez was also shot and killed in the town of Jaen, Nueva Ecija province.