Tatay Pops is a victim of Aquino regime's Oplan Bayanihan--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
October 19, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today condemned "in the strongest possible terms" the brutal killing of Father Fausto Tentorio in Arakan Valley, North Cotabato on Monday by gunmen believed to belong to a paramilitary unit under the Philippine Army's 73rd Infantry Battalion.

"The revolutionary forces extend their condolences to the family of Father Tenorio and to the people of Arakan who he selflessly served," said the CPP.

"Father Tentorio, endearly referred to as Tatay Pops, is the latest victim of the continuing war of suppression of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) now named Oplan Bayanihan which targets people actively engaged in mass struggles or supportive of people's cause-oriented movements," said the CPP.

Father Tentorio was an Italian priest who headed the Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Arakan, Cotabato. A member of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME), he actively defended the rights of the minority Manobo people and their struggle to claim their ancestral land. He was vocal against the activities in Kulaman Valley of foreign mining companies engaged in the extraction of nickel, cobalt and chromium.

In 2003, he was threatened by armed men belonging to the Bagani Command, a paramilitary group organized by the Philippine Army to stop local residents from supporting and joining the New People's Army (NPA).

"The campaign of extrajudicial killings continues under the Aquino regime," said the CPP. "Aquino has given full rein to his military and police forces to unleash an all-out war of suppression against the people's mass struggles and armed revolution."

"Among the principal targets of the Aquino regime's war of suppression are people actively opposed to mining operations," said the CPP. "In line with its campaign to entice foreign mining companies to invest in mining and plunder the country's remaining mineral resources, the Aquino regime aims to silence opposition and suppress the resistance of local residents."