mindanao.politics.com.ph

Philippine suspect arrested for 2011 murder of Italian priest

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Philippine police said Thursday they have arrested a suspect in the
2011 murder of an Italian Catholic missionary priest who worked with
marginalised tribal people in the troubled southern island of
Mindanao.

Father Fausto Tentorio was fatally shot outside his parish home in the
upland farming town of Arakan a decade ago but it has taken police
until now to apprehend the suspect, the town’s police chief told AFP.

On Sunday officers arrested a half-paralysed and diabetic local
politician named Ricardo Dorado, Arakan police chief Captain Allan
Espadera said.

He was identified as a suspect and charged in 2019.

Dorado, 65, is a former village chief and retired member of an armed
anti-communist militia group, Espadera said.

The militia group, called Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit, was
trained and armed by the Philippine military to help them guard remote
villages against rebel attacks.

“I’m not familiar with the motive, but the priest ran a foundation
that helped the poor, many of them indigenous people,” Espadera added.

Dorado will be tried for murder, while police are also looking for
four other suspects, the police chief said.

Tentorio relocated to the Philippines in 1978, a year after his
ordination in Italy, to pursue his evangelical mission in the Asian
Catholic outpost.

Mindanao is also home to Islamic State-linked armed Muslim separatists
and is a hotbed of Maoist insurgency.

Tentorio was with the Vatican-run Pontifical Institute for Foreign
Missions (PIME) and was its third missionary to be killed in Mindanao.
PIME began its work in the Philippines in 1968.

PIME’s Manila office declined to comment on the arrest when contacted by AFP.

© Agence France-Presse

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