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ICC Note: Six years ago, Father Fausto Tentorio from Italy, a missionary from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) was killed on the island of Mindanao. Father Tentorio served for over 32 years in the Philippines, advocating for the rights and survival of the marginalized Manobo tribe, often robbed of the land. The Department of Justice has identified two army officers and many others as suspects for planning his murder. 

12/29/2017 Philippines (Asia News) – There has been a breakthrough in the investigation of the murder of the PIME missionary Fr. Fausto Tentorio, which occurred six years ago on the island of Mindanao. The Department of Justice (Doj) has filed a new complaint for murder against two army officers and many others, including two members of the Manobo tribe identified by parliamentarian Nancy Catamco, district representative of the North Cotabato.

Fausto Tentorio (photo), a 59-year-old priest for over 32 years in the Philippines, was killed on the morning of 17 October 2011, as he was preparing to leave the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Arakan, North Cotabato, for a meeting of the diocesan clergy at Kidapawan.

Because of his activity in favor of the Manobo tribals threatened by the exploitation of the mines, Fr. Tentorio was held in suspicion by the army. According to the military, he had ties with the Maoist rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA), who more than once had praised his work. In 2003, members of the armed forces attempted to kill him while on one of his visits to the tribes of the Iraqan Valley, in Kitaotao. On that occasion, the tribals made him a human shield, saving his life.

Describing it as “pure and simple homicide”, last December 27, deputy prosecutor Peter Ong said that the alleged affiliation of Tentorio with the leftist groups “is not relevant” in the new investigation conducted on the killing of the priest. Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had previously ordered the NGO to re-examine the case, as the indictment of several people implicated in the murder was stalled. “We hope to have somehow given justice to Father Tentorio,” Ong told journalists.

 

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