Baguilat condemns killing of Fr. Nilo, demands justice


BAGUIO CITY — In a press statement, Ifugao Representative Teddy Brawner Baguilat condemned the brutal murder of Fr. Richmond V. Nilo of the Diocese of Cabanatuan and called on the Duterte administration to swiftly bring the killers to justice.

Fr. Nilo was about to celebrate Mass in the chapel of Brgy. Mayamot, Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija when he was shot dead around 5 pm last Sunday by still unidentified suspects who fled from the scene in a getaway car.

The murder of Fr. Nilo, Parish Priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza and financial administrator of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, marks the third killing of a priest in the country in six months, following the killing of Fr. Mark Ventura in Gattaran, Cagayan on April 29 and Fr. Marcelito Paez in Jaen, Nueva Ecija on Dec. 4 last year, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines news site said.

On June 6, Fr. Rey Urmeneta of the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Calamba was wounded after being shot by unidenfied suspects.

“Just like the killings of the poor in the ongoing drug war, killings of journalists and indigenous peoples leaders, no one has been brought to justice,” said Baguilat.

“This tyranny and impunity have led the President to warn that lawlessness is taking over the country and yet he has also repeatedly declared his vow to bring peace and order to the Philippines. I sincerely hope that he will make good on his words and bring justice to victims like Fr. Nilo,” he added.

Baguilat stressed that without justice, extrajudicial killings and assassinations become more pervasive and seen as the norm, thus fruther emboldening people to either take the law into their own hands or defy it, thus spilling even more blood into the Philippines’ streets.

This spate of killings may also further worsen the Philippines’ ranking on the Global Peace Index, which in its latest report already ranked the Philippines as the second “least peaceful” country in Asia Pacific, next only to North Korea.

“This does not help our efforts in boosting tourism and inviting more badly needed investments in the country,” said Baguilat.

Baguilat knew Fr. Nilo’s work personally as the 44-year-old priest was one of the staunchest supporters of the leadership and good governance programs of the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, of which he is a member.

Baguilat joins the Diocese of Cabanatuan in demanding justice and a through and impartial investigation of the case and for its swift resolution as well as its profound sadness and pain following the brutal murder of the beloved Fr. Nilo.#


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