Alleged Italian priest killer nabbed

POLICE have arrested a suspect in the 2011 murder of an Italian Catholic missionary priest who worked with marginalised tribal people in southern Mindanao island.

Father Fausto Tentorio (pic) was fatally shot outside his parish home in the upland farming town of Arakan a decade ago but it has taken police until now to apprehend the suspect.

On Sunday officers arrested a half-paralysed 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.

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 four suspects are still at large.

Tentorio relocated to the Philippines in 1978, a year after his ordination in Italy, to pursue his evangelical mission in the Asian Catholic outpost. — AFP

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