Nuns among 16 charged with terrorism financing

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2022 07:04 PM

MANILA — Sixteen individuals, including nuns from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), have been charged with terrorism financing for allegedly providing funds to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army (NPA).

Incoming Justice spokesperson Mico Clavano said 55 counts of violation of section 8(ii) of Republic Act 10168 have been filed against the 16 accused before the regional trial court of Iligan City as of Monday.

The provision punishes anyone who “makes available any property or funds, or financial services” to persons or groups identified or designated as terrorists with a term ranging from 12 years to 40 years in prison and a fine of between P500,000 to P1 million.

The Anti-Terrorism Council designated the CPP-NPA as terrorism groups in December 2020.

No bail was recommended since the charges are non-bailable.

The charges were based on testimonies of 2 allegedly former CPP-NPA rebels.

One who claimed to be a former finance officer of RMP alleged that 60% of funds sourced from foreign funders were allotted to the CPP-NPA to purchase firearms and ammunitions.

On the bases of the two testimonies, the Court of Appeals, in a resolution dated February 11, 2020, ordered the freezing of the bank accounts of RMP and RMP-North Mindanao Region for 20 days and extended it to 6 months on February 21, 2020.

Clavano said the 16 accused "failed to submit" their counter-affidavits during the preliminary investigation stage.