KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/14 March) – Kidapawan Bishop Romulo dela Cruz said the church is not condoning any act of revenge for the death of an Italian missionary in the hinterlands of North Cotabato.
Dela Cruz said he wanted that justice be served for the death of Fr. Fausto Tentorio in a peaceful way, not in a violent manner. Besides, he said he did not ask anybody nor any group to avenge the priest’s brutal murder.
“We do not seek revenge for the death of Father Tentorio. In the spirit of brotherly love, I am impelled to appeal to all those still enamored by empty promises of violence to at least allow those who are not of the same persuasion to try the healing ways of peace,” said the bishop.
Earlier, the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) in Southern Mindanao has owned the killing of Swiss-Filipino national Patrick Wineger after they found him guilty for the crimes he committed against the people, including his connections as one of the “principals” behind Tentorio’s slay.
“As a Christian, and as your Bishop, I cannot pass over this incident in silence. The sanctity of life, which we hold dear in our faith, can never make us agree, implicitly or much less explicitly, with gunning down a defenseless man no matter what crimes he may have committed,” he stressed.
For Dela Cruz, he cannot condone such act because Wineger was not given opportunity to defend himself.
The Italian priest, of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Mission (PIME), was gunned down inside his parish October 17 last year. He was priest of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in the hinterland town of Arakan.
At least four people were charged of the murder, including two Teduray natives from a remote village in Arakan town. Of those charged, only one was arrested, the rest remain at large. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)