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Italian priest opposed to mining in Mindanao killed by gunman.

Manila Authorities, followers and rights groups condemned the killing of Italian priest Father Fausto Tentorio of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME), by a lone gunman inside a parish church in the southern Philippines yesterday morning.

Father Tentorio was about to enter his car parked in the compound of the Mother of Perpetual Help church in Arakan, North Cotabato, at 8.30am when a gunman pumped eight bullets into his body and head. Parish members rushed the priest to the Antipas Medical Specialist facility where he was declared dead on arrival, a police report said.

After the shooting, parish workers told investigators they saw a gunman, with his helmet on, casually walking to his motorcycle parked near the church. The witnesses failed to describe his face.

Tentorio was scheduled to attend a clergy meeting at the Bishop's Palace in Kidapawan City at nine in the morning. Tentorio first came to Mindanao in 1978. As head of the Tribal Filipinos Apostolate of the Diocese of Kidapawan, he organised in 2003 a tribal organisation which eventually became active against mining.

"We condemn the recent killing of a beloved, committed and pro-poor priest who served in Mindanao. Despite several threats to his life, his public position against big corporate mining and advocacy for farmers' rights is testament to his selflessness," said a rights body.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 18, 2011
Words:238
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