Senator Loren Legarda hailed Father Faustino “Pops” Tentorio’s dedication to uphold the rights of indigenous peoples (IPs) in the country and honored his works through a Senate Resolution.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 628, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Cultural Communities, conveyed the Senate’s deep sympathies for the death of Father Tentorio, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), and honored him for his selfless dedication to promote and protect the rights of IPs.
“For 33 years, despite the death threats he received, Father Pops served as a mentor to IPs as he dedicated his life in serving the poor, in upholding their rights and in providing them with access to education and livelihood opportunities,” she stressed.
The Senator noted that on the day of his murder, the 59-year-old Father Tentorio was reported to hold a meeting on plans to build a consortium that would set up an educational program for the Lumads in Arakan, North Cotabato.
“During his stay in the Philippines, Father Pops had built several day care and training centers in Arakan and in Kitaotao, Bukidnon. He also created the Tinananon-Kulamanon Lumadnong Panaghiusa (TIKULPA), an association of IP groups active in defending and asserting the rights of the Lumad communities,” Legarda explained.
“Father Pops should be an inspiration for his unwavering service to the less privileged Filipinos,” the Senator said.
Last October 19, Father Tentorio was gunned down by a lone assassin inside the Mother of Perpetual Help Church compound in Arakan, North Cotabato. He is the third PIME missionary to be brutally killed in the country.
Legarda has called on the authorities to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act before the law.***
Office of Senator Loren Legarda
RM.209, Senate of the Philippines,
GSIS Bldg. Pasay City