The Department of Justice. (Photo by RYAN LEAGOGO / INQUIRER.net)
MANILA, Philippines — Financing terrorism is a "dangerous accusation" against the 16 individuals, four of them nuns, who were indicted on Monday for allegedly violating the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2022.
The Union of Peoples' Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) issued the statement on Tuesday, saying the nonbailable offense of providing funds to the Communist Party of the Philippines and New Peoples' Army (CPP-NPA) was "aimed at suppressing and harassing human rights defenders."
The nuns are members of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in the Northern Mindanao Region (RPM-NMR).
On Monday, the Department of Justice said that "probable cause exists to indict 16 respondents for making funds available" to the CPP-NPA.
The offense carries a penalty of up to 40 years of imprisonment and a fine that ranges from P500,000 to P1 million.
The UPLM calls itself a "staunch ally" of the RMP-NMR for its "defense and assertion of the rights of the rural poor communities in the face of development aggression, climate change, and sectoral discrimination."
The group pointed out that the projects of the RMP-NMR had gone through the "rigorous processes of selection, monitoring and auditing by its respective donors, such as the European Union, the United Nations, and many others."
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