Nun in Esperon perjury case posts bail
MANILA, Philippines — Sr. Elenita Belardo, RGS, national coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), was granted temporary freedom on Friday from the perjury case filed against her by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. following the warrant of arrest issued by a Quezon City court on Thursday.
As the nun posted an P18,000 bail in Branch 37 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, human rights defenders and church workers staged a protest outside the Quezon City Hall of Justice to denounce the charges as part of a “systematic drive and legal offensive” against activists. “Last year, it was 71-year-old missionary nun Patricia Fox. This government is clearly worked up when it comes to missionaries under the RMP because the latter has long exposed inadequacies and undelivered basic services in the countryside,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general.
Esperon filed perjury cases against Belardo and 11 individuals from Karapatan, Gabriela and RMP on July 2, following the petition for the issuance of writs of amparo and habeas corpus filed by the groups at the Supreme Court in May.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.