28 women leaders express concern for Sister Mary John

Published June 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ben Rosario

Women leaders of 28 religious and civil society groups expressed concern on Wednesday on the accusation of Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy that octogenarian Benedictine Sister Mary John Mananzan is a member of a terrorist organization.

Sr. Mary John Mananzan (Manila Bulletin)
Sr. Mary John Mananzan (Manila Bulletin)

In a statement the religious and civil society leaders said: “Such behavior from a state official is very alarming.”

Badoy posted her attack on Mananzan in her Facebook account on June 17.

“Rape, pillage plunder economic sabotage, mass murders the destruction of our culture, the unabated blood bath of our indigenous peoples, the burning of schools, the recruitment of our children into the terrorist fold, these are some of what Mary John Manansan aided and abetted,” Badoy wrote. “And that she continues to aid and abet,” she wrote.

Badoy added: :And she has all these years, put forth the godless and vicious ideology – communism.”

The statement said: “Badoy’s unhinged rant further accused Sr. Mary John of aiding and abetting rape, pillage, plunder, economic sabotage, mass murders, the destruction of our culture, the unabated blood bath of our indigenous peoples, the burning of schools, the recruitment of our children into the terrorist fold.”

In their statement, the 28 organizations cited a report of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights assailing “red-tagging or labeling individuals and groups as communists or terrorists.”

“They (UN-OHCHR) explained that the phenomenon includes human rights defenders and NGO’s. In some cases, those who have been red-tagged were subsequently killed,” the group added.

“Take a look at the life of Sr. Mary John and see how easily she was attacked and red-tagged by the current administration. If the government can attack Sr. Mary John, it will surely use the Terror Bill as weapon to red-tag and accuse many, or any, who criticize, protest, or dissent,” they said.

“Sr. Mary John Mananzan, OSB, is a historic icon of feminism in the Philippines. Maligning her expression of solidarity-spirituality, her political view, or her social actions is not only disrespectful, but puts her life in danger,” the concerned groups stressed.

Signatories of the statement included: Sr. Marilen Java chairperson of the Associaiton of Major Religious Superiors Women in the Philippines; Deaconess Darlene Marquez-Caramanzana of the United Methodist Church; Ma. Araceli Bile, co-convener, Ecumenical Women’s Forum, Dr. Marita Wasan, past president of the SAngguniang Layko ng Pilipinas and journalist Ma. Ceres Doyo of the Office ofor Women and Gender Concern Mission Partner-AMRSP, among others.

Meanwhile, House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said:“This premeditated red-tagging, though an act of desperation, is truly reprehensible and condemnable, particularly because of the dire consequences that it may result to its intended victim,” said Zarate in a text message.

 
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