A Filipino Vincentian priest was brought to a hospital after he was assaulted inside a priests’ home in Papua New Guinea last month, said a report posted on CBCP News.
Filipino priest Manny Lapaz was among those seriously hurt when 15 men forcibly entered the residence where 11 priests and a deacon were staying in Alotau town on March 19.
Bishop Rolando Santos said at least seven of his priests were injured in the attack, adding that Father Lapaz “lost a lot of blood after receiving continuous bashing on the head.”
The priest was already discharged from the hospital where he was confined for several days.
Bishop Santos said another priest was stabbed, “barely missing his heart,” while the face of another local priest was swollen from punches.
“The others sustained minor injuries. All were traumatized by the attack,” said the prelate.
The attackers, known as the Tommy Bakers’ gang, fled with laptops, mobile phones, cash, and other valuables.
They also carted away a new outboard engine and solar panels that the priests use in remote mission areas.
“We are very much saddened and we decry the violence and loss of property,” said Bishop Santos as he appealed for dialogue to restore peace and order in the area.
“Differences should be settled peacefully and due respect given to the rights and dignity of every person,” he said.
Reports said a series of violent incidents has occurred in the area targeting the police and firefighters.
“The population no longer feels safe and lives in fear,” said Bishop Santos, adding that violence continues to increase.
“The police are powerless because they are outnumbered by the criminals, who are much better armed than they are,” he added.