Religious superiors blast red-tagging of missionaries

Religious superiors blast red-tagging of missionaries

By CBCP News

April 9, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The country’s religious superiors expressed concern about the safety of missionaries tagged by the military as fronts of the communist underground movement.

The Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) said that red tagging would endanger the security of missionaries.

“Red tagging, accusing individuals and organizations as communist terrorists, is inimical to democracy and respect for human rights,” the AMRSP said in a statement.

They fear that red tagging “can lead to warrantless arrest, detention without charges, torture, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings”.

The AMRSP was reacting to the military’s allegation that the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines has been assisting the New People’s Army in Mindanao.

The military has earlier asked the European Union to stop funding to RMP and other human rights groups it accused as fronts of the communist rebels.

The RMP, an alliance of Catholic religious congregations in Mindanao, was established in 1969 as a Church response to the plight of people in “most forgotten places”.

“Let the members of the RMP do their jobs where we in the government and church agencies have failed to go to address issues of peace, education, respect for life, freedom, dignity of persons, good governance and good politics in the far-flung rural areas,” they added.

The AMRSP is an association of 327 religions congregations in the Philippines currently co-chaired by Sr. Regina Kuizon, RGS, and Fr. Cielito Almazan, OFM.