Nun posts bail, evades arrest

Nun posts bail, evades arrest

Activists picket outside the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to show their support for Sr. Elenita Belardo who posted bail on Dec. 6 over perjury charges filed by the government’s national security adviser. PHOTO FROM KARAPATAN FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

December 6, 2019

Manila, Philippines

An 80-year-old nun has evaded arrest on Friday after posting bail on a perjury case filed by the country’s security adviser.

Sr. Elenita Belardo was accompanied by her lawyers and supporters as she sought for her temporary liberty at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

Activists also rallied outside the court calling the case filed by national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., pure harassment.

Belardo was among the respondents included in Esperon’s complaint last July on the legality and registration of Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, which she formerly headed.

The former military chief made the charges to counter the petitions for writs of amparo and habeas data filed against him by the RMP and other groups.

The prosecutor’s office later dismissed the charges against the respondents except for the allegations against Belardo.

The RMP, which was formerly headed by Belardo, said the case “is a reprisal to stop us from speaking about widespread human rights violations” in the country.

“Ultimately, we know that this is part of the efforts to discredit and vilify our organization and to impede our missionary work and advocacy for land, justice and peace,” it added.

The nun’s confrere in the Religious of the Good Shepherd (RGS) congregation also deplored the case, as they hope for truth and justice to prevail.

“We, the sisters and lay mission partners of the province, stand up with Sr. Belardo against the perjury charges she faces,” they said.