4 nuns indicted for ‘aiding’ CPP-NPA

Four nuns and 11 others were indicted for soliciting funds allegedly intended to finance the activities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.

The Department of Justice announced that 55 complaints for violation of Section 8 (ii) of Republic Act 10168, otherwise known as the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, were filed against the accused.

The information against the respondents was filed Monday before the Regional Trial Court of Iligan City. The accused were mostly officers and staff of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Region.

Indicted were Sisters Emma Teresita Cupin, Susan Dejolde, Augustina Juntilla and Mary Jane Castillo.

Also charged were Fatima Napoles Somogod, Melissa Amado Comiso, Czarina Gold Selim Musni, Maridel Solomon Fano, Jhona Ignilan Stokes, Hanelyn Caibigan Cespedes, Angelie Magdua, Emilio Gabales, Mary Louise Dumas, Aileen Manipol Villarosa, Evelyn Lumas Naguio and Aldeem Abroguena Yañez.

The DoJ, on the other hand, dismissed the complaint against one Edgardo Naguio due to insufficiency of evidence.

DoJ spokesman Atty. Jose Dominic Clavano said no bail was recommended for the respondents. He said the respondents failed to submit counter-affidavits during the preliminary investigation, prompting the DoJ to resolve the case solely on the complaint filed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

The case stemmed from revelations made by several former communist rebels on the alleged connivance of the respondents with the CPP-NPA in raising funds for the group.

The CPP-NPA and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines had been designated as terrorist organizations by the governments of the Philippines, the United States, and member-countries of the European Union.

With the sworn statements of two former members of the CPP-NPA, the AMLC inquired into the bank accounts of RMP-NMR with the Bank of the Philippine Islands.

The AMLC directed BPI to freeze the accounts for 20 days, which was later extended to six months by the Court of Appeals.

According to the witnesses’ affidavits, the religious group seek foreign funders for proposed projects, of which 60 percent of the funds were channeled to the CPP-NPA to buy firearms and ammunition.

Musni, Fano, Dumas and Villarosa, alleged members of the CPP-NPA, were the payees of the checks, the DoJ said.

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