By Santosh Digal, BosNewsLife Southeast Asia Correspondent reporting from Manila
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (BosNewsLife) -- A tense calm returned Saturday, June 9, to the Galas district of the Philippines' Quezon City after a seminarian was stabbed to death there by a lone assailant, police said.
In a statement monitored by BosNewsLife, Police Officer Edwin de la Cruz of the Quezon City Police District Homicide Division said Justin Daniel Bataclan, 21, died late Thursday, June 7, the latest in a series of attacks against active Christians and clergy .
De la Cruz said "Bataclan's parents heard a commotion from Bataclan's room" Thursday night, but when they rushed to help him, he was "already stabbed on the neck" by the unknown attacker. The assailant was able to escape leaving a seriously injured Bataclan behind. He died while being brought to Saint Luke's Medical Center, the police officer said.
Police investigators have said a robbery may have been the main motive behind the attack, but cautioned that "other angles" are being pursued as well.
The murder of the theological student and apparent aspiring priest, came roughly two months after the Kalinga-Apayao Religious Sector Association (KARSA), a grouping of clergy, condemned the killing of an assistant priest of the Roman Catholic St. Paulâ€™s Parish in Kalinga province on Palm Sunday, April 1.
Fr. Francisco Madhu's killing was "most tragic and scandalous given the innocence and vocation of the victim, the brutal nature of the killing, and timing of the killing," the group said. Madhu was the sixth member of the clergy killed in the region recently.
Human rights groups have linked at least some killings to both independence seeking militants and the counter insurgency of the government. Active Christians have been among those in the cross-fire of fighting between independence seeking rebels and the military, BosNewsLife's Southeast Asia Bureau established earlier
In a recent report the World Council of Churches (WCC) said at least 800 people have become victims of what it called "extra-judicial executions from the year 2001 to the present."
The WCC said Christians "have suffered the brunt of violations of human rights under the Philippine government's counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism strategies." Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has come under pressure to improve the situation of Christians.
The deaths of seminarian Justin Daniel Bataclan and priest Francisco Madhu was expected to add to a sense of urgency to solve the killings of Christians in the Philippines.
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