Caritas PH condemns attack on churches, seeks justice for slain priest
MANILA, Philippines - A week after the burial of activist priest Fr. Marcelino Paez, the Catholic Church said that the killing incident only shows that even those who work for social development in the community is no longer safe.
The Catholic Bishops' of the Philippines' National Secretariat for Social Action–Justice and Peace, better known as Caritas Philippines (NASSA/Caritas Philippines), called on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to conduct a thorough investigation of the brutal killing of Fr. Paez.
Paez, from the Diocese of San Jose, Nueve Ecija, was killed hours after helping facilitate the release of a political prisoner in the province on December 4. According to a police report, he was driving along Jaen-Zaragoza road in Barangay Lambakin, Jaen, Nueva Ecija, at around 8 pm when motorcyle-riding suspects shot him.
In a statement, Caritas Philippines said that the killing of Paez was "an attack on the Church and her mission for social justice and empowerment of the poor."
"Church people are only complimenting the government’s task in promoting, defending and fulfilling the human rights of the Filipinos for common good. As long as the government only serves and works for and with the 'few', conflicts of interest may fuel government to attack anyone or groups who work for social justice and common good," the statement said.
They also asked everyone to make a stand and unite in promoting social justice and in denouncing all brutal and senseless killings in the name of change.
"Let us stop these acts of violence and denounce any attacks against human life, human dignity and human rights."
On December 10, hundreds of priests brought Paez the “silent, loving, and prayerful presence" of Pope Francis during his funeral mass. (READ: Father Tito Paez: A comrade for others) - Rappler.com