Ex-CAFGU member arrested for 2011 murder of Italian priest

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 02 2021 10:28 PM

MANILA — Police said Thursday they have arrested a suspect in the 2011 murder of an Italian Catholic missionary priest who worked with marginalized tribal people in the troubled island of Mindanao.

Father Fausto Tentorio was fatally shot outside his parish home in the upland farming town of Arakan in North Cotabato 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-paralyzed 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.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Watch more on iWantTFC