Monday, October 19, 2009

At home in Columbio

Over twenty four years after the killing of Italian priest Fr. Tulio Favali in a remote town of Tulunan in Cotabato, Southern Philippines, the Italian-born priest who was the target of his killers find a home in the Moro-influenced town of Columbio, Sultan Kudarat. Fr. Peter Geremia, the survivor, talks about the place he loves.



A Look Back

The anti-Moro and anti-Communist fanatic group Ilaga (rat) were on a killing rampage that day of April 11, 1985, looking for Fr. Peter Geremia when they found the Italian priest Fr. Tulio Favali responding to a distress call from a Tulunan church leader.
They burnt his motorcycle and when he came out of the church leader's house to ask why, one of the Manero Brothers, the leader of the fanatic group, asked, "Do you want your head blown off?" and shot him.
Afterwards, the elder brother, Norberto Manero alias Kumander Bucay, told the triggerman, "Is that all you do when you kill a priest?"
So, the killer poured all the bullets on to Fr. Favali's body and then, stepped on the body afterwards.
Following the People Power revolution in 1986 that ousted the dictatorship of former President Marcos, Favali's killers served their terms in jail.
But in 2007, Norberto Manero was released on Presidential pardon. He immediately went to the Kidapawan diocese to seek forgiveness from the man he wanted to kill 20 years back and lit candles on the grave of his victim. This site also tells a story about the killer's repentance, although much of his story here does not jibe with the survivors' and witnesses' accounts of what really happened on that ignominious day.