A pastor and a priest are the latest victims of political killings under the Duterte administration.
On the evening of December 4, 2017, Fr. Marcelito “Tito” Paez, coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in Central Luzon and former parish priest in Guimba, was shot in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija while driving his vehicle.
Paez earlier that day helped in facilitating the release of Rommel Tucay, a political prisoner detained in the Cabanatuan Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
A day before Paez was killed, Pastor Lovelito Quiñones of the Kings Glory Ministry was shot in the chest by elements of the Regional Mobile Group (RMG) in Oriental Mindoro.
Quiñones’ family said that the pastor was riding his motorcycle, five minutes away from his residence in Sitio Anapla, Brgy. Din Pedro, Mansalay, when he was shot dead. Quiñones passed by the area near an alleged encounter between the RMG and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sitio Anapla. The 203rd brigade of the military claimed that Quiñones was a member of the NPA.
The pastor’s kin and congregation attested that Quiñones was not an NPA member. Quiñones’ family also narrated that RMG elements planted a .45 calibre to link the pastor to the NPA. Quiñones yielded negative to the paraffin test.
As of October 2017, human rights group KARAPATAN reported 104 cases of political killings, four massacres, 20 incidents of forced evacuation among the Lumads, and 17 aerial bombings under the Duterte administration.