Manila (AsiaNews) - Fr Cecilio Lucero, a 48 year-old Filipino priest, was killed by unknown persons in the region of Northern Samar, southeast of the capital Manila.
Police said that the ambush occurred at 8:30 am on September 6. The priest was driving in his car, a Toyota van, when an armed group of about 30 people attacked him near the village of Layuhan. Fr. Lucero died instantly while Miras and Jose Isidro Aguda, the other two people who were on board the vehicle together with the priest, were seriously injured.
The priest was pastor of St. Joseph in the town of Catubig. Known for his social commitment as director of the Social Action Centre of the Diocese of Catarman, Fr. Lucero was the younger brother of Wilmar Lucero, former lawmaker in Northern Samar, and the deputy regional governor, Antonio Lucero.Investigators speculate that the murder may be linked to the activity of Fr. Lucero in defence of civil rights and help of the poor people of the diocese. Msgr. Emmanuel Trance, Bishop of Catarman, hopes that the police arrest the culprits as soon as possible. The murder of the priest is the latest in a series of murders in Northern Samar which have had as victims, politicians, businessmen and media representatives. The Social Action Centre confirms that over the last six months there were 18 murders in the region.