By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — A women’s group has assailed presidential communications official Lorraine Badoy for red-tagging Benedictine nun Sr. Mary John Mananzan, a staunch human rights defender and women’s rights advocate.
In a Facebook post, Badoy, undersecretary of Presidential Communications Operations Office, described Mananzan as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and claimed that the nun is a long-time ally of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
“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,” Gabriela said in a statement.
Gabriela pointed out that Badoy must have been looking at herself in the mirror when she described the Benedictine nun as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“Badoy’s malicious statement has no other intent but to set up Sr. Mary John – and other women human rights defenders – for the kill,” the group said.
Mananzan earlier called out Manila Judge Rainelda Montesa, a fellow Scholastican, for handing a guilty verdict against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former writer-researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. Mananzan said Montesa apparently “did not learn the values of a Scholastican education.”
“Whatever successes you may have attained I am afraid you are a failure as a Scholastican,” Mananzan, former president and now vice president for external affairs of St. Scholastica’s College – Manila, said.
Her fellow Benedictine nuns, too, have joined the religious community in voicing out their opposition on the looming passage of a new anti-terrorism law.
Champion of democracy
Gabriela described Mananzan as a “true and well-loved daughter of society.”
The 1975 La Tondeña strike served as her baptism of fire in her human rights advocacy and has never turned her back since then.
“There was a strike ban but the conditions at La Tondeña were so bad. We knew that the military would attack the workers and so we came to support them,” Mananzan said during the tribute to the late priest Fr. Joe Dizon, her “batchmate” in the human rights advocacy.
Gabriela said Mananzan used her privileged social position to uphold both the political rights and material welfare of poverty-stricken Filipinos.
The group added, “When it becomes a law, the anti-terror bill, in the hands of inept but power-hungry and corrupt officials, can only spell doom for the people, and for the nation. Badoy, an undersecretary, has used her office to malign people, spew lies and incite harm on citizens. Is this is the kind of government we will give power to in the implementation of an Anti-Terror Law?”