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08/18/2022 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – On August 15, Manila charged a Catholic missionary group with sending funds to support a terrorist group. At least 16 people, including several nuns, are targeted.

On the day of its 53rd anniversary as an organization, the Rural Missionaries of Philippines (RMP) was charged with financing the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, by the Department of Justice. This charge, filed under the Terrorist Financing Act, is considered to be a form of red-tagging where journalists, politicians, activists, and their organizations are accused of being directly involved in the fighting or supporting the NPA.

The National Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) established by former President Duterte, often targets these individuals and resorts to violence against them.

In reality, RMP is composed of lay and religious people from different congregations working in Mindanao— the southern island of the Philippine archipelago in defense of the environment and indigenous people living in one of the country’s poorest regions.

RMP members’ alleged support for the Communist Party caused them to be designated as “terrorists” in December 2020. According to Asia News, “in June of this year, [the group’s] website was taken down by the government. An arrest warrant may be issued…in the coming days.

Please pray for justice for RMP as the organization’s case develops.

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