DOJ indicts 4 nuns, 12 others for allegedly financing CPP-NPA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged 16 individuals, including four nuns, for allegedly financing the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People's Army (NPA).

DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano on Monday said the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) investigated the bank accounts of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RPM). The agency said the inquiry found that the 16 indicted members of the RPM allegedly used projects to provide financial support to the CPP-NPA.

The AMLC’s witnesses said the RPM proposes projects to foreign funders who will send money to the organization once proposals are approved, but only 40% of the fund is allocated for each project.

The RPM is allegedly “related to the financing of terrorism and/or they are utilized as a conduit to facilitate the commission of financing terrorism,” the AMLC said, quoting the sworn statements of two former CPP-NPA members.

Clavano said the respondents have "failed to submit their respective counter-affidavits during the preliminary investigation.

They were indicted for violating Section 8 of the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, which is punishable by 40 years imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P1,000,000. It is a non-bailable case.

According to its website, the RPM is an inter-congregational and inter-diocesan order composed of priests and lay persons who “live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).”