DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The colleague of slain Italian missionary Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reopen the case which was stalled under the Aquino administration.
Fr. Peter Geremia, president of Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio Foundation, said a letter will be sent to the President, asking the Department of Justice to revisit the case as new witnesses have surfaced lately to shed light in the investigation.
“Now in the new administration, we hope we will revive the case and complete the investigation,” he said.
Geremia said there are five new witnesses who will testify about the killing. With the new witnesses, the missionary priest has expressed hope that it will strengthen the case after they went into hiding out of fear.
“The previous witnesses are hiding, they are very tired so they can’t stay in the witness protection program any longer but they are still willing to testify even if they are located in different places now,” he said.
It can be recalled that Duterte admitted that the country’s justice system need a drastic reforms, citing the case of Italian missionary Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio which has yet to reach a conclusion.
Meanwhile, Isabel Indao, a Matigsalog-Manobo and a scholar of the school managed by the Italian missionary, said his advocacy of educating the marginalized youth will continue.
“His dream will not fail, especially his dream for us, his scholars because we will continue,” she said.
Tentorio, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) served in Arakan Valley since the late 1980s.
He built schools for indigenous children and helped set up sustainable agricultural programs and organizations for the indigenous communities. He was shot dead by a paramilitary group in his parish compound on October 17, 2011. (davaotoday.com)