ZARAGOZA, PHILIPPINES – Father Richmond Nilo was shot through a window four times by two gunman while preparing to celebrate mass in Nuestra Senora de la Nieve Chapel. Father Nilo’s blood pooled in front of a statue of the Blessed Virgin, where he took his last breaths. He had been a priest for 17 years.
Earlier this week a former police chaplain, Father Rey Urmenenet, was shot in Calamba City. He suffered injuries, but survived the assassination attempt.
In Gattaran, Father Mark Ventura was shot and killed following a celebration of the mass in April of this year.
December marked the first of these three deaths and four shootings. Father Marcelito Paez was shot in Jaen just 10 miles from the site of the most recent shooting.
These certainly are not the only deaths and assassination attempts in clergy and Catholics in the Philippines in recent months. However, they are the killings that are attracting some interest.
The Church is appealing to the local authorities to find the killers, hold them accountable for the death of priests, and deter future attempts.
Unfortunately though, there is little hope that justice will be realized in these cases.