By CBCP News
July 27, 2021
The Redemptorist congregation has condemned the “malicious” red-tagging of its mission community in northern Philippines.
Fr. Victorino Cueto, superior of the congregation’s Vice Province of Manila, said it is “truly sad” that their mission engagements led to them being red-tagged.
“In conscience, this unfounded accusation must be vehemently denounced. They are not communists or even their supporters,” Cueto said. “They are Redemptorists who follow the missionary vocation to serve the poor and most abandoned.”
The priest was reacting after a tarpaulin was posted outside the compound of the Redemptorists’ Laoag Mission Community on July 22, tagging them as communist supporters.
He said such action is an “assault to human liberty”, which poses a threat not only to the missionaries but also to their mission partners.
“This kind of action has been happening in many parts of the country, causing harm to individual groups, is not acceptable,” Cueto said.
He also called on concerned government agencies, especially the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an investigation “of this unlawful and unjust act”.
The Redemptorists Laoag Mission Community has been active in assisting the local Church and nearby dioceses in providing faith formation and in establishing new parishes in the past 15 years.
The religious community is also known for providing assistance to different sectors who are in need such as farmers, workers, indigenous peoples, and many others.
In times of calamity, they were among the first to extend support through relief operations and rehabilitation projects.
The missionaries also continue to assist students to finish their college education through a scholarship program.
“As one Redemptorist family, we stand together! We will not cower in fear. We remain unshaken. We will continue to partake in God’s mission of witnessing to the Good News,” Cueto said.