Karapatan calls for the immediate investigation of the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME

Karapatan strongly condemns the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, an Italian missionary priest of the PIME congregation, and calls on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation on the said incident.

Fr. Fausto Tentorio, an Italian missionary priest of PIME in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato. Sadly, Fr. Tentorio is the 54th victim of extrajudicial killings and the first EJK victim from the Roman Catholic Church under the Aquino government.

Fr. Tentorio worked for decades among the indigenous peoples in the Cotabato area, especially in Arakan Valley, advocating for indigenous people’s land rights against the incursions of big business especially by mining corporations. Fr. Tentorio was already a target by a paramilitary group since 2003 when he almost lost his life.

The recent move of the Aquino government to allow mining companies to hire AFP-trained Special Civilian Armed Auxilliary (SCAA) may embolden similar paramilitary groups to attack those who oppose big mining corporations that plunder the country’s resources.

Aquino’s continued mouthing slogans of “matuwid na daan” and “respect for human rights” could no longer cover up the increasing number of human rights violations under his administration, especially with the implementation of his trumpeted version of the counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan.

Blaming the previous regime could no longer divert the people’s attention to this government’s own accountability for the continuing rule of impunity in the country.

Karapatan calls on the government to immediately stop the implementation of its counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan as it, like Gloria’s version, engenders the extrajudicial killings and other gross and systematic violations of human and collective rights of the people. Instead, the government must punish all those who committed violations against individuals and communities so justice may be served to the victims. ###

 

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