Fr. Pops’ slay case: Delay in charges hit
DAVAO CITY—The government failure to file charges against the suspects in the murder of Italian missionary Fausto “Pops” Tentorio remains a big puzzle, one of Tentorio’s colleague said.
“Someone could be delaying and blocking the investigation,” said Fr. Peter Geremia, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
Geremia said despite the availability of witnesses against the suspects—Jimmy and Robert Ato, Bagani leader Jan Corbala, also known as Commander Iring, and four others—the government has not done much to pursue the case.
Worse, the armed Baganis—who were said to be behind Tentorio’s murder—are still roaming freely in Arakan and Bukidnon while witnesses fear for their lives, he said.
Geremia, at a forum in Ateneo de Davao University on the fourth death anniversary of Tentorio, said the long-delayed resolution of Tentorio’s case and the failure of the case to move in the last four years points to a cover-up and the involvement of someone highly influential.
Tentorio was killed in his parish compound in Arakan, North Cotabato, on Oct. 17, 2011 as he was getting in his car for a meeting in Kidapawan City.
He said the ecumenical group Promotion of Church People’s Response will picket the Department of Justice (DOJ) office in Manila today to press for the resolution of Tentorio’s murder.
Geremia said his group has been pressing the DOJ for action and the last he heard about the case from a DOJ official was a text message from Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III on Oct. 2 saying a meeting is being set between DOJ officials and Geremia.
The witnesses “sacrificed years of their lives waiting for the trial,” Geremia said. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao
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