MANILA, Oct. 25, 2011–Several human rights and environmental organizations suspect that Fr. Fausto Tentorio’s advocacy against mining was behind his murder.
But authorities on Tuesday said they were looking into three possible motives for the brutal killing of the Italian missionary from the Rome-based Pontificio Instituto Missioni Estere (PIME).
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jessie Robredo, however, refused to give the details of their investigation.
He said they are exploring different angles and added that the investigation has yet to zero in on the “mining angle.”
“Let’s look at all the possibilities and we are looking at three possible angles,” Robredo said during a church-organized forum Tuesday. “At this point in time, (let’s give) equal importance and attention to all possible angles.”
The DILG chief also said this is due to the fact that they are not even sure if the angle being focused by media reports is already certain.
“We do hope that we will be able to resolve it the soonest,” he said.
Robredo also said they already have the cartographic sketch of the suspect of Tentorio’s killing in Arakan, North Cotabato last October 17.
“I was there in Arakan last Saturday and there was this cartographic sketch which will probably assist us in identifying persons responsible,” he said.
The slain missionary was laid to rest in Kidapawan City this morning.
Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo described Tentorio was a “martyr” claiming that he was killed while standing firm on his advocacy to help the poor, especially the indigenous people.
“I have no hesitation to call Fr. Fausto Tentorio as a martyr for justice and peace. He is a worthy member of that noble line of martyrs in the Church in Mindanao who in their lives advocated causes that would help create a more just, a more peaceful, a more loving society,” he said.
Quevedo added that Tentorio’s death would not silence the church in pursuing the advocacies that the missionary left behind.
“If the perpetrators think that his murder would silence priests, religious sisters and brothers, and bishops from proclaiming the justice of God’s kingdom, they are wrong,” said Quevedo.
“The blood of martyrs, like Fr. Fausto, fans the daring and courage of those who care about peace and justice enough to sacrifice themselves while traveling the road of active non-violence,” he said. [CBCPNews]