Philippine Missionary Murdered

Friday, January 24, 2003

January 24, 2003

Washington D.C. (Christian Aid) -- A Philippine missionary working among minority groups on Mindanao Island was shot and murdered on January 17.

The assistant leader of a Quezon City-based ministry supported by Christian Aid said he had just arrived from the nearest large city on Mindanao by a seven-hour bus ride to meet with two local workers. They excitedly began sharing developments about their work while their wives prepared food for supper together.

Suddenly, one of the women said she was out of cooking gas, and asked her brother to get a tank of gas from the market. The young man used a motorbike belonging to one of the missionaries. On the way back, he accidentally struck a motorbike driven by a Muslim. As soon as the missionaries learned about it, they went to the scene.

Police had already arrived to settle the case. One of the missionaries stood quietly along the side of the road observing the investigators. To help clarify matters, the two bikers were asked to accompany police to headquarters downtown. After they left, the watching missionary picked up his motorbike to wheel it home. By this time it was dark.

Suddenly a man appeared and shot the missionary in the chest. As he tried to regain his footing, the man shot him again in the head at point-blank range with a .45 caliber pistol. The missionary died instantly.

The killer, though still unidentified, apparently belonged to a militant Muslim sect. The other missionary now wondered if it was a set-up. The two workers had received a death threat last November. The missionary team left the area that evening.

Please pray for the widow and her 2 1/2 -year-old daughter, for all who were traumatized by the event, and for missionaries working in high-risk areas. For information on how you can support missionary teams working in high-risk areas like this, write and put MI-403 801-MSF on the subject line.