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Philippines mulls arming priests, grassroots leaders amid drug war

12 9 10
14.06.2018

THE Philippines is looking to arm priests and community leaders following the deaths of three clergymen since December and amid its controversial war on drugs.

The Philippines National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it was willing to help arm priests in wake of the recent shootings of the clergymen, which has raised alarm in the country.

UCA News quoted police chief Oscar Albayalde as saying that priests could be provided with the legal means of arming themselves “if they request it and if we think that there are threats to their lives.”

“We will assist them to go through the [licensing] process for them to feel safe.”

The police’s announcement came after the deadly shooting of Father Richmond Villaflor Nilo on June 10 after gunmen opened fire on him while he was preparing to celebrate Mass in Nueva Ecija province. A week before the incident, Father Rey Urmeneta of St. Michael the Archangel parish in Calamba City survived an attack by two gunmen.

SEE ALSO: Is it dangerous to be a woman in Duterte’s Philippines?

On April 29, Father Mark Anthony Ventura was also shot dead by motorcycle-riding gunmen after officiating Mass in the northern town of Gattaran.

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© Asian Correspondent