Man killed in shootout inside Cebu Archbishop's Residence
MANILA, Philippines (7th UPDATE) – A shooting incident occurred at the Archbishop's Residence in Cebu City on Tuesday, July 10 resulting in the death of a gunman who wanted to see Archbishop Jose Palma.
The shooting was confirmed to Rappler by staff of Cebu City police director Senior Superintendent Royina Garma in a phone interview.
Father Joseph Tan, media liaison officer of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said Archbishop Palma was not in Cebu when the incident happened.
"Si Archbishop Palma gikan pa sa CBCP meeting wa pa siya ka uli. Expected siya mu abot anytime either today or tomorrow. Ang nangatubang ngari sa pulis ang atong auxiliary bishop si Bishop Dennis Villarojo," said Tan.
(Archbishop Palma is coming from a CBCP meeting and he hasn’t returned yet. He’s expected to get back anytime either today or tomorrow. So our auxiliary bishop is the one talking with the police today, Bishop Dennis Villarojo.)
In a later interview with reporters, Central Visayas police director Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas identified the slain gunman as Jeffrey Cañedo, a resident who comes from Labangon, Cebu City.
Police identified gunman through his driver's license.
Sinas said Cañedo arrived at the Residence at around 10:40 am where he was promptly received by the staff of the compound.
Inside, Cañedo reportedly looked for Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, asking people if he could talk with the prelate. Palma, however, was out of town, Sinas said.
The Archbishop's Residence staff called on cops after noticing that Cañedo had a gun tucked at his side.
A shootout erupted between Cañedo and cops, leading to his death. Cops called an ambulance to treat Cañedo, but he was declared dead on the spot.
Reports from Cebu City news agencies showed images of a Cañedo wearing a helmet sprawled on the pavement in the parking area of the Archbishop's Residence.
Police have yet to establish the motive of the gunman.
Villarojo confirmed that the Cebu Archbishop was safe and still in Manila. He said he has talked with Palma on the phone. "Nagkaisturya mi ni Archbishop Palma, who is still in Manila, kay gahapon pa man nahuman ang atong CBCP meeting, said Villarojo.
(I talked with Archbishop Palma, who is still in Manila, because the CBCP meeting ended yesterday.)
Villarojo added: "Si Archbishop would like to appeal to the public not to make any speculations and to stay calm and let us allow the police to do their investigation."
Palma attended the recently concluded plenary assembly of the CBCP in Manila, said Father Marvin Mejia, secretary general of the CBCP, in a text message to Rappler.
Palma was there when the plenary assembly ended at noon on Monday, July 9, after which the CBCP released one of its stinging critiques of the Duterte administration. Mejia did not have information if Palma was still in Manila on Tuesday.
The Cebu shooting incident happened a day after a meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the CBCP.
Valles was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday.
An attempt on the life of Archbishop Palma is "out of character," Cebu City Mayor Tomas "Tommy" Osmeña told Rappler in a phone interview on Tuesday. He explained that Palma is known among Cebuanos to keep a low profile, despite holding a high position in the country's Roman Catholic heirarchy.
Palma is a vocal critic of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. (READ: Cebu archbishop hits EJKs ahead of EDSA procession)
The incident happened a day after a meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. – Rappler.com