Press Release
October 19, 2011

Senator TG Guingona expresses concerns on the peace and order repercussions of the violent killing of Father Tentorio

Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, Chairperson of the Senate Peace Unification and Reconciliation Committee, strongly condemned the killing of Italian priest, Father Fausto Tentorio, missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), who was gunned down last Monday inside the parish of the Mother of Perpetual Help in Arakan Valley town in North Cotabato.

Sen. Guingona further condemned "the violence that has slammed our country" and demanded that "officials at all levels of government carry out a prompt investigation and find those responsible for this cowardly crime."

The death of Father Tentorio may have repercussions on peace and order not only in North Mindanao but even in other mining prone provinces. The now emerging fight against mining might be intensified if Fr. Tentorio's death was a result of his advocacy against mining and his taking side with the affected indigenous group. The heightened protest against mining will cause civil unrest and protest not only in the mining affected provinces but even in far-flung areas outside Metro Manila.

If the police will not act promptly, and justice will be denied Father Tentorio and his supporters, then this uprising of concerned civil societies and indigenous people will continue to the detriment of peace and order.

"It's certainly the responsibility of the state to make sure that everyone has a decent life and is protected from harm. In fact I will also coordinate with local police authorities in solving this crime," Sen. Guingona said.

"I am saddened with his untimely demise. It's another attempt to silence the growing resistance of the Church and the indigenous groups against large-scale mining. His killer must pay. I am calling on the authorities to resolve the killing at the soonest possible time," he said.

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