MANILA -- San Jose, Nueva Ecija Bishop Roberto Mallari has condemned the brutal killing of the 72-year-old priest, Fr. Marcelito Paez on Monday in Jaen town.
We strongly condemn the unjust and brutal killing of Fr. Tito Paez, he said in an article posted in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.
With this, the Catholic prelate urged authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of the crime.
We called on the authorities to conduct an investigation and give justice to his death, he said.
Paez was driving his vehicle in Jaen town when four men in two motorcycles fired at him at about 8 p.m. on Monday.
The priest was rushed to a hospital in San Leonardo town but died two hours later.
Mallari also asked the faithful to pray that justice will be served as soon as possible.
Earlier in the day, the priest assisted in facilitating the release of political prisoner Rommel Tucay who was detained at a jail in Cabanatuan City.
Paez has served the diocese for more than 30 years since it was established in 1984. He retired from priestly ministry in 2015.
He was known for his active involvement in social justice advocacy, particularly on human rights issues affecting the poor.
The priest also had been part of the diocese's social action commission wherein he led the justice and peace office.
At the time of his death, Paez was the coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in Central Luzon.
Source: Philippine News Agency