Fr. Fausto Tentorio was murdered in front of the parish of Arakan. For over 32 years in the Philippines, the missionary had worked closely with the Indigenous, threatened by the growing mining industry. Fr. Tentorium is the third PIME missionary to be killed in Mindanao.
Zamboanga (AsiaNews) - A missionary from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) was killed this morning on the island of Mindanao (Philippines).
Fr. Fausto Tentorio, 59, who had spent more than 32 years in the Philippines, was killed this morning by a stranger, as he prepared to leave the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Arakan, North Cotabato. Like every Monday, had a meeting with the priests of the diocese in the bishop's house. The murderer approached him and killed him with two shots to the head. The author and motive for the killing are still unknown. According to witnesses, he was wearing a helmet and his face could not be seen. After the murder, the killer escaped to safety on a motorcycle.
Fr. Tentorio had worked for some time among the tribal groups of the diocese, living with them. His evangelization also included his commitment to ensure the survival and rights of these populations, often marginalized and robbed of the land.
Leonardo Revoca, a former parishioner of Fr Tentorio and town councilor in Arakan stressed the missionary efforts to stop the spread of the mining industry, which is destroying the lives of indigenous peoples.
PIME superior in the Philippines, Fr. Gianni Re, has declined to make any statement for now. He has simply said: "I am deeply saddened. Fr. Fausto was one of my closest friends. "
Fr. Tentorio, born in St. Mary Rovagnate (Lecco), had entered the PIME seminary of the diocese of Milan. His fellow students remember him as a simple and friendly person.
Fr. Fausto Tentorio is the third PIME missionary to be killed in the Philippines and the island of Mindanao. In 1985, Fr. Tullio Favali was killed in Tulunan, in the Diocese of Kidapawan, by a group of private armed guards, in 1992, Fr Salvatore. Carzedda, engaged in dialogue with Muslims, was killed in Zamboanga. In 2007, Fr. Giancarlo Bossi was kidnapped by a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, but was released after two months of captivity. In 1998 Fr. Luciano Benedetti was also kidnapped. His abductors, a Muslim group, released him after about 2 months.