QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Association of Community Educators (ACE) has called for the release of Lumad school agriculturist Dominiciano Muya and other lumad school educators detained in Tagum City as they commemorated the killing of Lumad rights defender Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio.
ACE said 88 lumad and peasants from Mindanao were killed during the Martial law period, highlighting the case of Salupongan Learning Center’s student Obello Bay-ao, and active PTCA (Parents, Teachers and Community Association) members Jimmy Saipan and the Pesadilla couple.
“In the escalating abuse of power under Martial Law, killings like of Fr. Pop’s has become a daily vice for those protector of greedy corporations,” ACE said in a statement earlier this week.
“As we grieve and rage over the spate of human rights violations especially lumad school educators, we, the Association of Community Educators, are committed to continue the legacy that he, Fr. Pops, left behind. We demand justice for the killing of Fr. Pops Tentorio and other victims of extra Judicial Killings,” the group said.
ACE noted that the string of documented cases on the attacks of community schools’ personnel, students and PTCA have increased with authorities filing cases based on trumped-up charges.
Fr. Tentorio, a staunch Italian priest of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME) was slain in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato 7 years ago.
Prominent for his missionary works in Lumad and peasant communities in Mindanao, his death, although invalidated, was linked to extrajudicial killings driven by political motives.(davaotoday.com)