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Philippines: suspect arrested in October murder of missionary priest

Catholic World News - December 29, 2011

Police in the Philippines have announced the arrest of a man suspected in the murder of Father Fausto Tentorio

The Italian missionary was shot down in Arakan, on the island of Mindanao, on October 17. On December 29, the justice ministry announced that the prime suspect, Jimmy Ato, had been taken into custody along with his brother after a gunfight. “Fortunately, nobody was injured” as the Ato brothers were arrested, the ministry said.

Eyewitnesses at the scene identified Jimmy Ato as the gunman who killed Father Tentorio. Others said that his brother had been driving the vehicle that he used to escape after the killing.

Church officials on Mindanao had been prodding the government to accelerate the investigation of the crime, noting that human-rights violations have become more common in the region, where Islamic activists are pushing for autonomous rule.

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