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Pati madre kaaway? De Lima asks for prayers for nun charged with perjury

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Senator Leila de Lima has sought prayers for the “safety” of 80-year-old Sister Elen Belardo, of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), who was facing perjury charges.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon earlier filed perjury complaint against Belardo and 11 other individuals from progressive groups after they accused him alongside other generals of harassment and red-tagging.

“Let us pray for Sr. Elen’s safety. May our Lord Almighty guard and guide her throughout this ordeal,” De Lima said.

“Let us also pray for our country that we may finally see the sun shine on our land.,” the detained senator said in a statement on Friday.

She also gave a separate message for the elderly nun. “Sr. Elen, I am with you in this fight, kasama ang mamamayang naninindigan para sa katotohanan at katarungan. Hindi habangbuhay maghahari ang dilim.”

De Lima stressed that Belardo has “dedicated most of her life” serving the rural poor. But Belardo was recently charged with perjury. She posted bail on Friday.

“Kailan pa naging kasalanan ang tumindig para sa katotohanan at magsilbi sa mga nangangailangan?” the opposition senator asked.

“This regime had brazenly made it its policy to criminalize dissent while letting murderers, drug lords, and corrupt officials go scotfree,” De Lima said.

She added, “Sa mata ng batas ni Rodrigo Duterte, isang paglabag ang ipagtanggol ang karapatang pantao kahit ng mga pinakamahihirap nating kabababayan, kung kaya’t kahit ang isang 80 taong gulang na madre ay itinuturing na kriminal ng estado.”

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