[Statement] The message of the death of Fr. Tentorio is clear, PNoy must declare war against EJK and the culture of impunity NOW! – TFDP

We in the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), a mission partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), strongly condemn the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Mission (PIME) in Mindanao.

We call on government to swiftly act on this case or it will just add up to the long list of unsolved killings in the country and encourage more commissions of violations and abuses against our human rights.

The death of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, an anti-mining advocate and defender of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, once again stresses the need for Government to once and for all seriously face the continuing violations against human rights defenders.

Fr. Fausto Tentorio’s murder establishes a pattern that continuous killings of human rights defenders still persist even under the new administration. It is not enough to say that the perpetrators will go to jail, it is imperative for government to demonstrate its ability to protect and defend its people especially those that have chosen to serve the most vulnerable and marginalized.

Just like Fr. Tentorio, many anti-mining advocates had fallen victims to violence and killings by still unidentified perpetrators.  There are the likes of Gerry Ortega of Palawan, Armin Marin of Sibuyan, Romblon and Gensun Agustin of Cagayan and many more. Are these cases not yet enough to prove that corporate greed and the obsession with profit causes killings and human rights abuses?

More than condemning the killings, it is the government’s obligation to bring perpetrators to the bars of justice, protect and defend any person against abuses and crimes.

Tomorrow, PNoy leads a command conference of the Armed Forces. Let this not be an occasion to beat the drums of war against perceived enemies of the state.

Let this be the opportunity to declare in no uncertain terms that human rights violations end now. Let PNoy declare a war against impunity! Let our thirst for justice be quenched by a powerful rain of arrests, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators of human rights violations.

Your Bosses demand an end to killings and impunity. Protect the right to defend human rights! Justice for Fr. Fausto Tentorio! Justice for all victims of human rights violations!

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