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APD | Catholic priest shot dead in northern Philippines



By APD writer Melo M. Acuna

MANILA ,April 29– A Catholic priest identified as Fr. Mark Anthony Yuaga Ventura, parish priest of San Isidro Labarador Mission Station in Barangay Mabuno, Gattaran, Cagayan was shot dead while blessing the children who attended his Mass at 8:15 A.M. Sunday.

PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said the priest was also meeting with the choir members when a still unidentified male donning a motorcycle helmet emerged from the back of the gymnasium and shot the victim twice.

Quoting reports from the Police Regional Office No. 2 in Tuguegarao, Cagayan, Director Albayalde said the suspect ran towards the highway and rode on a single motorcycle driven by another unidentified companion and fled towards Baggao, Cagayan.

He said they are still looking into the possible motives behind the fatal shooting.

“We have organized a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Ventura and implemented possible checkpoints,” Director General Albayalde said. Police investigators have also made their ocular inspection of the crime scene.

Tuguegarao Archbishop Sergio Utleg has already led prayers at the site of the crime. He still has to issue his statement as of presstime.

It will be recalled 72-year-old Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, a retired priest from the Diocese of San Jose de Nueva Ecija was shot by motorcycle-riding men at a national highway last December 4,20117. No motives have been established yet and no suspects have been arrested so far.


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