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Philippine Suspect Arrested a Decade After the Murder of Italian Priest

12/05/2021 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – According to officials in the Philippines, the police arrested a suspect in the 2011 murder of Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME) Italian priest Father Fausto “Pops” Tentorio in the troubled southern island of Mindanao.

The news of the arrest was confirmed on December 1. Arakan police chief Captain Allan Espadera said that a half-paralyzed and diabetic local politician named Ricardo Dorado, previously named a suspect and charged, was arrested last Sunday.

On October 17, 2011, Father Fausto Tentorio was fatally shot outside his parish home in the upland farming town of Arakan allegedly by two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle, but it has taken police until now to apprehend the suspect, the town’s police chief told AFP.

Dorado, 65, is a former village chief and retired member of an armed anti-communist militia group called Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, Espadera said. The group was trained and armed by the Philippine military to help them guard remote villages against rebel attacks.

Espadera is optimistic that the remaining four suspects with warrants for their arrest would soon surrender following information relayed to the police chief last October.

“We had a dialogue with Fr. Peter Geremia in October this year before the 10th death anniversary of Father Pops that four suspects would surrender if Dorado gets arrested. I look forward to that,” Espadera told the Rappler.

PIME priest Fr. Geremia, who believes that Tentorio was murdered because of their missionary work in tribal communities, said the arrest was a big step in their quest for justice.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: press@persecution.org.

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