‘We are peacebuilders,’ say nuns in terrorism financing raps

‘We are peacebuilders,’ say nuns in terrorism financing raps

By CBCP News

August 30, 2022

Manila, Philippines

Catholic nuns who are facing terrorist financing charges filed by the government insisted they are peace-builders working to address the root causes of armed conflict and social unrest in the Philippines.

In a statement Tuesday, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) again denied the allegations as they reaffirmed their mission to work in far-flung areas, even those affected by armed conflicts.

“As missionaries, we are unapologetic and unwavering in our commitment to work in poor areas, even when these areas are visited by militarization and armed conflict,” RMP said.

“Bringing services and accompanying grassroots leaders are effective methods for resolving community issues and sparking change and development that benefit the communities where we serve,” it said.

The Justice department filed criminal charges against 16 RMP workers, including five nuns, for allegedly providing financial support to the New People’s Army, which the government labelled as a terrorist group.

RMP said the allegations are nothing but an attack on their ministries, which involved documenting human rights abuses throughout the country.

“The law has been weaponized against us,” the missionaries said, but asserted they will neither be cowed nor impeded by the “renewed attacks”.

“We will not cower, even as we are afraid. God gives us strength and wisdom, quickening our steps and assuring our safety,” RMP added.

It also said: “Those who seek to besmirch our ministry, by saying it supported or financed ‘terrorism’, should be held to account; their lies will only further the suffering and poverty in marginalized communities.”

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