Manila: Police say an Italian Catholic priest has been shot dead in his remote parish in the southern Philippines.
Chief Inspector Benjamin Rioflorido said the Rev Fausto Tentorio was about to board his car on Monday in North Cotabato province`s mountainous Arakan township when a gunman shot him several times within the church compound.
Tentorio was pronounced dead on arrival in a nearby hospital.
Rioflorido says a witness has said the gunman ran from the scene then fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice.
Rioflorido, the town`s police chief, says investigators have not yet identified suspects or possible motives. He says Tentorio had been a longtime parish priest of Arakan, spoke the dialect fluently and had good ties with the people there.