UCAN REPORT: The search for leads surrounding the murder of a Baptist pastor in a Metro Manila suburb is ongoing.
“There is no indication that the killing is related to the victim being a church worker,” said Inspector Emil Raymond Celis of the Quezon City Police Department.
Celis is among the authorities handling the case of Joseph Saliba, a Baptist pastor in Pangasinan province, Northern Philippines who was murdered on Oct. 13. Saliba was working as a human resource director and was living in Quezon City, Metro Manila at the time of the incident.
“The killer was very angry at the victim,” Inspector Celis added. Witnesses reported hearing the lone gunman cursing while shooting Saliba.
Saliba died from neck and head gunshot wounds, the police reported.
“The victim was in his car at an intersection when the killer approached and fired a .45 caliber pistol,” officer Archie Buctuan said.
Buctuan dismissed reports by the international Catholic Fides news agency linking the murder to illegal gambling syndicates Saliba might have crossed.
He said the police has no leads indicating such a connection and that they could not verify Fides reports, which cited that the pastor “was known for his work in the field of justice, human rights,” and that his advocacies “could be the reasons for the murder.”
No Church, human rights or anti-gambling groups have issued a statement regarding Saliba’s murder as of Oct. 14. http://www.ucanews.com/2010/10/15/police-clueless-in-pastors-murder/