NDFP-Mindanao condemns the extra-judicial killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio

Ka Oris
NDFP-Mindanao
24 Oktubre 2011

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) condemns in the strongest terms possible the gruesome killing of Italian Catholic priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio. We sympathize with family, friends, and the people of Arakan, North Cotabato, especially with poor peasants and agricultural-workers whom Fr. “Pops,” as he was fondly called, served as a foreign missionary until his death.

Fr. Tentorio was a true friend of the Filipino people. He understood the plight of poor Filipinos, and his concern for poor peasants and Lumads in Arakan town at North Cotabato led him to initiate livelihood and education projects for them. He stood side by side with peasants and Lumads to defend the Arakan Valley Complex from the entry of destructive mining operations threatening to wipe out both the people’s livelihood and the abundant natural resources in the area.

As a staunch anti-mining proponent, he helped organize anti-mining campaigns, which strengthened the resolve of local communities to block big mining corporations from plundering the Arakan Valley complex. This has elicited the ire of big mining businesses that wanted desperately to gain access to Arakan Valley, but prevented by the resistance of the local masses

Without doubt, Fr. Tentorio’s progressive outlook, especially on the defense of the basic rights of peasants and Lumads, and the extent of the influence it had on people made him a veritable target of government security forces, especially by death squads of the AFP who are emboldened by the reactionary government’s continued backing.

This latest brazen murder completely belies Benigno Aquino III’s “winning the peace” and “respect human rights” slogans under the aegis of Oplan Bayanihan (OPB), exposing it as a total hoax. Extra-judicial killings rage on with impunity, masterminded and orchestrated by the AFP, continuing to target political activists, including members of the religious, who espouse pro-people, anti-big business causes.

Clearly, there is only one motive for the murder of Fr. Fausto Tentorio: He took a bold stand against big mining interests, against the continuing militarization of the AFP in the area, and against those which trample upon the rights of the both the peasants and the Lumad. And, for the reactionary state, he is a thorn that needed to be pulled out in order for foreign monopoly interests to pillage the Arakan Valley and other parts of North Cotabato unhampered.

The NDFP-Mindanao, together with the entire revolutionary movement, is one with the Filipino people in calling for justice for the extra-judicial killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio. The revolutionary movement is committed to render punishment against units and elements of the AFP, PNP or para-military groups responsible for carrying out extra-judicial killing operations.

Justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio!
Justice for all victims of extra-judicial killings!
Defeat Oplan Bayanihan!
Down with imperialist plunder!