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    Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.” (John 10: 1-2)

    Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME, third Italian priest martyred in the Philippines (photo from GMANews Online)

    We are saddened of the news that came to our attention today, October  17, 2011  that a shepherd of the people   Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME  was murdered in his convent in   Arakan Valley Cotabato . He was killed by  assailants who entered  the  convent  and shot him on the head and chest  with three (3) bullets instantly killing him. It is very clear that the priest’s murder was  pre-meditated  as there was already a threat on his life  by the Bagani  paramilitary group under the jurisdiction of the 73rd IB, eight (8) years ago due  to his  love for the Lumads,  particularly in  organizing them  to have their voice heard the, TINANANON- KULAMANON LUMADNONG PANAGHIUSA (TIKULPA).

    We, the  Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, PIME  an RMP member   and a foreign  missionary  priest of    Cotabato  Southern Mindanao. His  killing  is a clear disrespect for his right to life  and liberty. It is an injustice to his mission to proclaim and live out  the gospel. As  an RMP member,  he was very active in  his  support, encouragement, and in pushing forward initiatives working for the promotion of the human rights of the poor farmers  and indigenous  people in Arakan Valley. He took up the defense of the poor and the oppressed against every form of social injustice. What happened to him is a clear manifestation of silencing his prophetic voice in defending the rights of the rural poor in the countryside. We denounce the extra-judicial killings that is still happening  and we demand justice for Fr.  Fausto Tentorio.  We believe that we can only have authentic and lasting peace if we have respect for human dignity, justice and freedom.

    RMP  does not tolerate any form of repression especially through extrajudicial killings. The right to life is a gift  from God for everybody; no one has the right to take it. The wheel of justice is the proper venue for resolution of any  case. We therefore call on the proper authorities to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation on the killing of  Fr. Fausto  Tentorio and bring into the bar of justice the ones responsible.  He was  a  good shepherd  to God’s flock  and could have  journeyed long to help the   rural poor. We extend forth our sincerest and deepest sympathy to the  PIME  family of   Fr. Fausto  Tentorio.

    Reference:

    Sr.M. Francis  Anover,RSM
    National Coordinator
    Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP)
    Tel # 930 6950
    Email: ab.ruralmissions2010@gmail.com


    RURAL MISSIONARIES OF THE PHILIPPINES-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR)
    P.O. Box 41324, 9200 Iligan City, PHILIPPINES
    T/F: +63 223 5179  E: rmpnmr@gmail.com  W: www.rmp-nmr.org

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