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Leftists told not to exploit killing of activist priest
The Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) has told left-leaning groups not to exploit the killing of an activist Roman Catholic priest in Jaen town in Nueva Ecija as an issue against the government even as it condemned the incident.
Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, Nolcom public information officer, on Friday said the Communist Party of the Philippines-National People's Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) through Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay is "capitalizing on issues to discredit the [Duterte] administration and will use any means to justify their ends."
Earlier, Palabay said Paez is the first Catholic priest to become a victim of a political killing under the Duterte administration.
Malacañang said the government will investigate the killing of Paez to determine if it was politically motivated and covered by Administrative Order 35 that penalizes extrajudicial killings.
"In light of Father Tito's [Paez] death, Nolcom will wait for the result of the investigation and will observe due process," Nato said.
He added that Nolcom has a high regard for human rights and remains committed to uphold the principles of the rule of law and International Humanitarian Law.
Paez,72, of Barangay Baloc, Santo Domingo town in Nueva Ecija, was driving his Toyota Innova along the Jaen-Zaragoza Road at Sitio Sanggalan in Barangay Lambakin, Jaen town, at 7:30 p.m.on Monday when he was gunned down by still unidentified motorcycle-riding men.
He was brought to the Gonzales General Hospital in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, where he died.
Nato said Nolcom will support the police investigation and provide the necessary assistance to bring the perpetrators to justice.
"Nolcom which represents the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] in Northern and Central Luzon is saddened by this incident and we are expressing our sympathy to the bereaved family and loved ones of Father Tito," he added.
[Source: By Leander C. Domingo, The Manila Times, Manila, 08Dec17]
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