Italian envoy impatient over slow justice for slain priest
DAVAO CITY—Italian Ambassador to the Philippines Luca Fornari expressed impatience over the pace that justice grinds for slain Italian priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio.
“Italy is waiting for justice,” Fornari said in a eulogy delivered at Quiapo Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene on Oct. 17, in connection with Tentorio’s first death anniversary.
A copy of that eulogy was furnished the Inquirer on Friday by the Justice for Father Pops Movement, the main group pressing the government to pursue the suspects in the missionary’s murder.
Tentorio, 59, was leaving his convent in Arakan, North Cotabato, when gunned down by an assassin.
His colleagues in the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions had blamed the military for his death.
“What makes us so indignant, in fact, is not the crime alone but the injustice, the impunity of the perpetrators,” Fornari said.
He said despite repeated assurances by the Aquino administration that justice would be served, the case continues to drag.
“After one year of waiting, we have received several assurances from the Philippine government that the police will search, investigate and bring to justice the culprits. Now, we still remain patiently waiting but our patience has a term,” he said.
Fornari said the indignation over Tentorio’s death was justified.
“We want to avoid, with all means, the risk that this case could be forgotten, or be put aside in the long run by everyday news. We firmly stand in seeking justice,” he said.
In January, the National Bureau of Investigation arrested a certain Jimmy Ato in connection with the murder but new testimonies emerged in April, pointing to the involvement of a paramilitary leader named Jan Corbala as the “brains” behind Tentorio’s murder.
Fornari said Tentorio’s death should not cow the people from “be(ing) vocal about human rights” even if these days, “human rights defenders are facing threats to their lives.” Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao