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ICC Note: Filipino priest Marcelito Paez was murdered by unidentified men on December 4 in Luzon. This happened hours after he facilitated the release of a political prisoner. President Duterte has declared a crackdown on organizations and political parties that he deems as “leftists” as terrorist groups, sometime he targets rights advocates as well. There is suspicion that the government could be behind the recent killings of religious clergies who were also activists. A mass commemorating his life was held yesterday and huge crowd showed up to bid him farewell.

12/12/2017 Philippines (UCA News) –At least a thousand people joined the funeral march for Father Marcelito Paez, a 72-year-old Catholic priest murdered on December 4 on the main Philippine island of Luzon.

The activist priest was ambushed four hours after facilitating the release of a political prisoner.

More than 100 priests conducted the mass with two Filipino bishops, San Jose Bishop Roberto Mallari and Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio Bancud, presiding at the Eucharistic celebration.

Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, the Papal Nuncio, attended the mass at the Saint Joseph Cathedral in San Jose, in the province of Nueva Ecija.

The bishops wore red and violet stoles to proclaim the “martyrdom” of Fr Paez. The retired priest was a national board member for the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, which ministers to peasants and indigenous peoples.

 

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