Fr. Fausto Tentorio was shot eight times as he was getting into his pickup truck parked by the Church of Mother of Perpetual Help in Arakan, North Cotabato last October.
The 59-year old Italian missionary had come to the Philippines in 1978. Affectionately called ‘Tatay Pops’, he was well known for his love of planting trees and protecting the indigenous people of Mindanao. He was described by colleagues as “a gentle man, evangelically simple and prudent” but “fiercely courageous” in his advocacy for the marginalised people, especially the indigenous.
An outspoken voice against the damage mining companies were doing to their ancestral lands, he had been threatened before. On one of his visits to an indigenous village in 2003, he said armed men “threatening to cut off his head” came to kill him. The villagers helped him escape that time.
Fr. Tentorio is one of many environmental campaigners killed in recent years […]