Tag Archives: RMP

[Statement] Do not deprive the Rural Poor of Services they deserve -RMP

Statement of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
February 06, 2020

“8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We, the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), express our utmost dismay with the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) for freezing our accounts with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). This latest attack against RMP greatly encumbers our mission to collectively witness and act as Christ’s disciples with the rural poor, for them to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to live a life of justice and peace towards fulness of life promised to all God’s children.

On December 26, 2019, the AMLC issued Resolution TF-18 which ordered a 20-day freeze for three (3) RMP accounts with the BPI. It then ordered BPI to submit details of RMP-related bank accounts. It also authorized the AMLC to file, thru the Office of the Solicitor General, a petition to extend the freeze order to six (6) months with the Court of Appeals. This was based on the very vague reasoning that there is “probable cause that the BPI accounts of RMP are related to terrorism financing”.

On the same day, a letter was sent by AMLC to the BPI Main Office containing said orders. On January 9 and 13 this year, RMP was notified by several BPI branches that its accounts have been suspended: two (2) for the National Office and nine (9) for the Northern Mindanao Sub-Region. These accounts were created and maintained for completed and on-going projects of RMP, as well as for its internal operations.

We vehemently deny involvement in any form of financing terrorism. Donations and funding received by the RMP are used to implement projects and programs to help the marginalized and oppressed. In contrast to the government’s false narrative, RMP has delivered much-needed services to rural communities across the country for 50 years. We have our mission and community partners to confirm this. In freezing our bank accounts, the AMLC is only depriving the rural poor of the help and services they deserve, and that the government refuses to provide.

RMP has been increasingly attacked by those who seek to discredit its reputation built by countless nuns, priests and lay workers. Our organization has been vilified and maligned — thru cowardly and baseless anonymous black propaganda materials, and thru equally cowardly and baseless official pronouncements of the government. We’ve been accused of being a communist and terrorist front. Our members have been harassed and threatened, forcing some of them to seek sanctuary elsewhere.

RMP members are also facing trumped up charges filed by the military. Among them are three senior citizens: former National Coordinator Sr. Elenita Belardo, RGS (80 years old: perjury); Northern Mindanao Sub-Region Coordinator Sr. Emma Teresita Cupin, MSM (63: arson, kidnapping, robbery); and lay worker Angie Ipong (74: frustrated murder).

Indigenous schools established or run by RMP in Mindanao have been forcibly closed. Two of its voluntary teachers — Melissa Comiso and Nori Torregosa — are in still jail for trumped up charges.

These attacks against us unmask the truth this government declares. The reality today is, helping the poor, as Christians living out concretely your faith imperative and following the church mandate to establish the Church of the Poor, will put your liberty and life at risk.

But now more than ever, the RMP will live out its commitment to be servant-leaders with the poor farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers, and Indigenous Peoples so that all may truly experience God’s compassion and mercy in the here and now.

We enjoin all those who believe in doing Christ’s mission of love that is real and active to stand with us and rise up to continue journeying with the rural poor towards the attainment of life, justice and peace.

We call on the AMLC to immediately unfreeze RMP’s bank accounts. Instead of harassing RMP and other advocates of the poor, we encourage the AMLC to go after those who are truly involved in laundering of money accumulated thru corruption and other crimes against the poor.

Unfreeze RMP’s bank accounts!

Stop the attacks against Church People!

Hands Off the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines!

Source: ruralmissionaries.wordpress.com

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[From the web] EU-supported project to protect thousands of Lumads in Mindanao -RMP

EU-supported project to protect thousands of Lumads in Mindanao

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) will launch on March 10, 2015 the “Healing the Hurt Project” to promote the Mindanao indigenous communities’ social, economic and political rights. The activity will be held at the grounds of the RGS-abandoned hospital in the center of Barangay Balit, San Luis, Agusan del Sur.


The three-year project is supported by the European Union (EU) with a grant of €623,766.65 (around PhP31M). About 17,000 indigenous peoples (IPs) or Lumads from 43 communities in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur stand to benefit from the project.

The project will contribute to the protection and strengthening of indigenous peoples’ traditional structures and community-based organizations. These organizations are at the forefront of the IP’s fight for access to ancestral domain and resources.

RMP-NMR head Sr. Ma. Famita Somogod, MSM, said that aggressive industrialization in Mindanao had led to intrusions by corporations into the IPs’ ancestral domains, which have led to their discrimination and sometimes outright violence.

In less than a decade, RMP-NMR, together with other human rights institutions, has documented several cases of extra-judicial killings (EJKs) of indigenous leaders. Of the more than 30 Lumads killed since June 2010, at least five of them are datus, the traditional leaders of indigenous communities. The killings have consequently led to the insecurity of thousands of indigenous families.

Jomorito Goaynon (Datu Imbanwag), chairperson of the Action-partner Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization, said “the killing of a datu is a big blow to an indigenous community because the community depends on him on almost every aspect of the community life, from personal conflicts within families to feuds between clans.”

Additionally, more than a hundred other Lumad leaders are currently facing fabricated and malicious charges, hindering them from carrying out their human rights work because of pending warrants of arrest, subpoenas, and other form of judicial harassment and intimidation. Moreover, the present day insensitivity of institutions that promote the culture of chauvinism and discrimination results to xenophobia of the majority Filipinos against the Lumads that further leads to the perpetuation of rights violations against the latter.

The village of Balit is seen as the most appropriate setting for the start of the activities as it recently witnessed the killing of its leader, Datu Angis. Currently, more than a thousand individuals have sought sanctuary since they felt the insecurity of their areas after his death. The launching will double as a solidarity action with the evacuees and the bereaved family of Datu Angis.

Other project partners include IBON Foundation, the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao, and the Community Based Health Services-Northern Mindanao.###

For reference:
Anjo Bacarisas
Media Officer, ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project
T/F: +63 (63) 223 5179
E: info@rmp-nmr.org
Mobile: +63 905 734 7893

Source: www.rmp-nmr.org

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[From the web] Two Bishops, Ex-Political Prisoner Visit New York To Report On Human Rights in the Philippines -RMP

Two Bishops, Ex-Political Prisoner Visit New York To Report On Human Rights in the Philippines
17 March 2012

New York – Sixty-seven extrajudicial killings, nine disappearances and 78 political arrests in the first one-and-a-half years in power of President Benigno Aquino III.

These and more are part of the report on the human rights situation in the Philippines that two Filipino bishops and a former political prisoner will discuss with the New York City-based Filipino-American media on March 19, Monday at 10:30 a.m.

The press briefing will be held at the Church Center for the United Nations at 777 First Avenue, corner 44th Street, in New York, NY 10017.

To present their report on the human rights situation under President Aquino are:

Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza, vice chairperson of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and general secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP);

Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI, or Philippine Independent Church), chairperson of the Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace Mindanao); and

Mrs. Angelina Bisuna Ipong, coordinator of SELDA (Association of Ex-Detainees Against Detention and Arrest), and a former political prisoner and author of the book “Garden Behind Bars”.

Read full article @ www.rmp-nmr.org