Indian Catholic News

Cebu prelate appeals for calm following fatal shooting

Philippine police yet to determine why gunman turned up at Archbishop Jose Palma's residence.

Cebu city: 

Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu called on Catholics to remain calm on July 11 after a gunman was shot dead the day before at his official residence.

He appealed to the public not to speculate on why the gunman turned up there pending the result of a police investigation.

"Let the process take its course," Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Villarojo said.

Cebu Archdiocese spokesman Monsignor Joseph Tan confirmed that the dead man had been identified as Jefrey Mendoza Canedo.

The priest said Canedo wanted to see the archbishop who was in Manila at the time.

"The police were called after the man refused to leave," said Monsignor Tan.

Investigators said police shot the 41-year-old after he pointed a gun at them while being asked to leave the archbishop's residence.

Canedo, who was riding a motorcycle, had forced his way past security guards at the residence's gate.

"He was asked if he needed anything or if he needed to see a priest but he seemed to be … his disposition was a bit suspicious," Monsignor Tan said.

"He was not coherent with his answers. He was talking about different things," said the priest.

Monsignor Tan said the incident has come as a shock because Archbishop Palma has not received any threats to his life.

Canedo, the son of a retired police officer, entered the archbishop's residence at about 10.40 a.m. on July 10.

Security guard Remegio Debuayan said he informed police about Canedo, who was wearing a balaclava under his helmet and was carrying a gun.

Policewoman Sheila Mae Estremo said her team responded to the call and tried to convince Canedo to surrender his firearm.

"He took out the gun. When the police retreated, he ran inside. He then warned that he would fire at the policemen. There was an exchange of fire. He was hit," she told reporters.

Regional police director Debold Sinas said his men are still investigating whether Canedo intended to attack Archbishop Palma.

The shooting follows recent attacks on members of the clergy which saw three priests shot dead and one wounded.

Source: UCAN

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