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Church worker slapped with ‘fabricated’ charges

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 Church worker slapped with ‘fabricated’ charges

“The arrest of Agnes was meant to sow fear among the people in the attempt to plunder the rich mineral resources and displace resisting communities for large-scale mining operations. “ – Rural Missionaries of the Philippines

MANILA – An advocate against large-scale destructive mining was detained and charged with common crimes.

Agnes Mesina, 40, a lay worker of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) – Cagayan Valley, was arrested July 4 at a coffee shop in Tuguegarao City by elements of the Philippine National Police Region (PNP) 2 together with the Tuguegarao City PNP. The arrest took place in the presence of ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio who, at that time, was meeting with Mesina along with organizers of the local chapter of ACT Teachers Party-List. They had just come from a consultation with public school teachers.
Mesina has been charged with frustrated murder of a certain Ernesto Belen, a barangay captain of Luga, Sta. Teresita, Cagayan. She was detained overnight at the Tuguegarao City police station and was transferred to the Aparri Trial Court the next day. She was released after posting bail amounting to P20,000.

“We believe that the action is devious and related to her public advocacy of people’s rights against mining operations and other developmental projects that destroy the environment and sources of livelihood of peasant folk in Cagayan Valley. In the past months, she helped form alliances of church people, farmers, youth, and professionals to intensify people’s anti-mining advocacy and campaigns in the region that prick the consciences of (the) powers that be,” leaders of various Church denominations said in a joint statement.

Sr. Minela Alvarez of the Religious of the Good Shepherd in Isabela, Fr. Clarence Olat of the Episcopal Diocese of Santiago, Fr. Roderick Labog of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente-Diocese of Isabela, Fr. Candido Adriano, CssR of the Task Force dor the Orientation of Church Personnel
Mission and Fr. Charly Ricafort, MI of the Task Force for Urban Conscientization signed the statement condemning the arrest of Mesina. The last two Church groups are mission partners of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP).

Sr.M. Francis Añover,RSM, RMP national coordinator, described Mesina as a “trusted” lay co-worker of Sister Mela Alvarez, RGS, the RMP-Cagayan Valley coordinator..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/07/11/church-worker-slapped-with-%E2%80%98fabricated%E2%80%99-charges/


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