KIDAPAWAN CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 17, 2011) – An Italian missionary was shot and killed in a daring attack Monday in the restive region of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, officials said.
Officials said Father Fausto Tentorio, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, was shot at around 8.25 a.m. outside his convent in the town of Arakan in North Cotabato province.
Tentorio was about to board his vehicle when the gunman fired several shots at the priest and escaped on a motorcycle, said Colonel Noel dela Cruz, a spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division.
“We still don’t know the motive of the attack. Authorities are still investigating the killing,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.
Policemen, who responded to the shooting, rushed to the scene but did not catch up with the assailant. Tentorio was rushed to hospital, but died along the way, according to Dela Cruz.
Filipino Bishop Romulo dela Cruz has condemned the killing and called on authorities to solve the murder. “I am calling on the police and military to solve this killing immediately,” he said.
No individual or group claimed responsibility for the murder, but Tentorio was the second Italian missionary killed in Mindanao since 1985.
Father Tullio Favali, also a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, was also killed by a government militia Norberto Manero, Jr. in North Cotabato’s Tuluan town on April 11, 1985.
In August 2001, gunmen also shot dead Father Rufus Halley, an Irish Columban priest, after a failed kidnap attempt in Lanao del Sur province in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner)