NUPL laments terrorist financing charge vs executive, 15 others
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) on Wednesday lamented the filing of charges against its national auditor, Atty. Czarina “Dingkay” Golda Musni, and 15 other individuals including nuns from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Regional office (RMP-NMR).
The individuals have been accused by the Department of Justice (DOJ) of funneling funds from the RMP-NR to the Communist Party of the Philippines and its military arm, New People’s Army.
However, NUPL said independent checks and reviews by RMP’s funding agencies revealed that the allegations were “baseless and false.”
“Despite these clearances, the RMP sisters, Dingkay and other RMP staff have been recklessly charged before the Department of Justice by the Anti-Money Laundering Council seemingly on the mere dubious say so of polluted and ill-motivated sources and apparently on a prejudged examination of the subject accounts,” the group said in a statement.
“From our perspective, this is not only weaponization of the law but weaponization against the very lawyers fighting such insidious policy and practice,” it added.
The NUPL further said the charge of terrorist financing is an attempt to “weaken the support for the advancement of the peoples’ rights in Northern Mindanao.”
“We will stand by Dingkay in all fora as we have stood by not only our persecuted clients but our very own colleagues under attack as well whose only crime is to serve the interests and welfare of the people selflessly and valiantly,” it said.
The DOJ earlier said it found “probable cause” to indict the 16 respondents “for making funds available to the CPP-NPA.”
The agency said 55 informations (charge sheet) were filed against the 16 individuals for violation of Section 8 of Republic Act 10168 or The Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012.
Section 8 of RA 10168 carries a penalty of up to 40 years of imprisonment and a fine that ranges from P500,000 to P1 million.
No bail was recommended for the 16 respondents.
The DOJ said the respondents “failed to submit their counter-affidavits.”
It also said the resolution was based only on testimonies of two former members and the documents presented by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
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