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Sr. Mary John Mananzan, feminist icon and activist, is now tagged a terrorist, too?

Sr. Mary John Mananzan, feminist icon and activist, is now tagged a terrorist, too?

Sister Mary John Mananzan has been tagged as having “close ties to a terrorist group” by Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary (PCOO) Lorraine Badoy. The PCOO official published a long post on her Facebook account speculating that Mananzan was being honored by a terrorist group and is part of “a group that pretends to be champions of democracy but are, in fact, communist terrorists.”

“What does it take to be Chairman Emeritus of GABRIELA—a front of the CPP, NPA, NDF? (For starters, their founder, Joma Sison, says so himself) What has Mary John Mananzan done that a front of this terrorist group would give her such an honor?” wrote Badoy on her Facebook post. “Why is Mary John Mananzan so closely allied to a group that has brought this country so much grief and destruction and that has, as its main goal, the overthrow of government?”

This is already the second time that Badoy has accused Mananzan of being part of a communist terrorist organization. On June 17, Badoy shared Mananzan’s Facebook post denouncing Judge Rainelda Montesa’s ruling on Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr.’s cyber libel case with a caption that said “[S]he has, all these years, put forth the godless and vicious ideology—communism.”

This accusation comes on the heels of  the pending approval of the Anti-Terror Bill, which allows the government to detain individuals based merely on a suspicion of being a terrorist. If it becomes law, Mananzan, being suspected a terrorist by a government official, could be subject to 24-hour surveillance, warrantless arrest and detention without charges.

[READ: Terrorism undefined: The Anti-Terrorism Bill is an indication of an authoritarian regime]


Who is Sister Mary John Manazan?

Mananzan is a missionary Benedictine sister who obtained her doctorate degree in Philosophy majoring in Linguistic Philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy where she graduated as a summa cum laude. She also earned a degree in Missiology from Munster, Germany as magna cum laude.

She is the founder of the Institute of Women’s Studies, Women Ecology and Wholeness Farm, and the Women Crisis Center in the Philippines, as part of her advocacy for women’s rights. Mananzan is also the national chairperson of Gabriela, a broad alliance of women’s organizations that protect marginalized women and have implemented a number of medical missions, free clinics, relief and rehabilitation in times of disaster and capability building training on women’s health and women’s rights. 

Over the years, she has been vocal about the Duterte regime denouncing the extrajudicial killings, Marcos burial, attacks on press freedom and other acts of violence. She was active during the martial law era, being part of militant nuns who were at the forefront of political activism during the People Power Revolution.


Groups against Badoy’s accusations

Progressive coalition Movement Against Tyranny slammed Badoy’s accusations against Mananzan, stating that Badoy “has gone way too far in her red-baiting and vilification activities by accusing one of the living pillars of Philippine activism, Sr Mary John Mananzan, of aiding and abetting rape, pillage, mass murders, and other horrific crimes.”

“We demand that the PCOO, NTF-ELCAC, AFP, and PNP stop their vicious, malicious and dangerous red-tagging activities. There will be consequences should Badoy and her ilk persist in their unconscionable conduct,” the group added.

Human rights group Karapatan also expressed their dissent for the accusation. “Those in power who throw shade on her sincerity and long service to the Filipino people ought to reexamine their conscience and themselves. These shameless peddlers of untruths will be made accountable.”

Gabriela also released a statement defending their national chairperson. “With the Anti-Terror Bill shamelessly railroaded by the regime’s rubber-stamp Congress and now awaiting Duterte’s signature, (Lorraine) Badoy is loading up the regime’s guns for either arresting or harming Sister Mary John and other critics of the Duterte regime,” the group stated.


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Read more:

PH is a bad place for workers’ unions. It might get worse with Anti-Terror bill

Anti-Terror Bill not yet law, but Cebu police in riot gear already came for protesters

No talk on Anti-Terror Bill, Duterte focuses on OFWs and corruption in latest address


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