ICC Note: Seven years have passed, yet the Philippines government has not found the culprit for Father Fausto Tentorio’s murder. The priest was killed on October 17, 2011, in front of the Arakan parish. He had worked closely with the Indigenous, threatened by the growing mining industry. Lately, one of the accused asked to present a new deposition, identifying the group that planned the killing and the motive.
06/04/2018 Philippines (Asia News) – Seven years on and no one has ever been charged for the murder of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, a missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) for over 32 years in the Philippines.
The 59-year-old priest was killed on the morning of October 17, 2011, at the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor in Arakan, North Cotabato (Mindanao). Fr. Tentorio was in the crosshairs of the army because of his activity in favor of the Manobo tribals threatened by the exploitation of the mines. In December 2017, the identification of two senior army officers and other suspects in the murder had marked a turning point in the investigation. The new heads of the Department of Justice (Doj) in Manila have appointed a new team of prosecutors, which this month should initiate preliminary investigations and decide which defendants will be issued arrest warrants. The trial is due to start soon in court. Fr. Peter Geremia, PIME missionary in Mindanao, sends us this latest update.
Fr. Fausto was killed on October 17, 2011. Since then many investigations were held on and off, but no conclusion in court. The new administration of President Duterte started in June 2016 and promised to reopen the case. On March 31, 2017 the Department of Justice (DOJ) appointed State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong to conduct an in-depth re-investigation with financial assistance from the Asia Foundation.
This new prosecutor reviewed all previous testimonies and new testimonies were added. He came to Arakan and Kidapawan several times with his team for ocular verification and with great skill he proved the validity of key testimonies.
For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: email@example.com.