Ecumenical Bishops Forum to DOJ: Hands off RMP | Inquirer Opinion
LETTERS

Ecumenical Bishops Forum to DOJ: Hands off RMP

/ 05:02 AM August 25, 2022

The Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) denounces as baseless and fabricated, the cases filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against 16 affiliate members of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) on Aug. 15, 2022 for alleged violations of Section 8 (ii) of Republic Act No. 10168 or the anti-terrorism financing act, a nonbailable offense. The respondents included nuns and a human rights lawyer.

The RMP has been doing its mission for decades, already helping the poor peasants and the indigenous people (IPs) in their struggle for fullness of life, justice, peace, and human rights. They have empowered these sectors to work against systemic repression and oppression instigated by big business interests in consonance with the government’s antipeople, antidemocratic policies and laws.

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Concocted allegations by “surenderees” who alleged that a portion of RMP funds were channeled to the CPP-NPA-NDF is outrageous, spurious, and outright ridiculous. RMP has exhibited a proven track record of faithful compliance to proper documentation and reporting required by its partners. Such allegations appear to be nothing but brazen lies.

Such a case against the RMP and its affiliate members are purposively filed to vilify and demonize and eventually to force them to abandon their mission. This is part of an effort by the powers that be to silence the opposition against antipeople, anticommunity, anti-environment projects of big business interest whose insatiable greed for super profit look down at the people, the communities, and the environment as dispensable and disposable.

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The harassment and unjust persecution and prosecution of the faithful religious and laypeople by state security forces and the agents of the court will not deter them from performing their mission and commitment to the fullness of life for all, most especially the marginalized, underprivileged, deprived, and oppressed sectors of society. Like the apostles of old who were persecuted as they proclaimed the fullness of life in God’s reign, we, too, say that, “We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29b).

Thus, the Ecumenical Bishops Forum stands with the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and its affiliates in their quest for justice. Drop the trumped-up charges against the RMP and its 16 affiliates. Repeal RA 10168 and other antipeople and antidemocratic laws. Down with fascism! Stop the attack against the religious and church people! Hands off RMP!

Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco,EBF cochair, UMC;
Rt. Revd. Emelyn Gasco-Dacuycuy, IFI,EBF cochair;
Rt. Revd. Dindo Ranojo, IFI,EBF general secretary;
Bishop Joel E. Tendero, UCCP;
Bishop Deogracias S. Iniguez, Jr., D.D.

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TAGS: bishops, CPP-NPA-NDF
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