National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. on Monday slammed anew Sr. Elenita Belardo, RGS, national coordinator of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) for lying under oath as he took the witness stand before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court.
In an interview, Esperon said the court must hold Belardo, Elisa Tita Lubi, Cristina Palabay, Roneo Clamor, Krista Dalena, Edita Burgos, Jose Mari Callueng, Wilfredo Ruazol Sr., Sr. Emma Cupin, Joan May Salvador, and Gertrudes Ranjo-Libang of Gabriela women’s group and Karapatan accountable for the crime of perjury for swearing under oath that the RPM was an organization in good standing.
In 2019, the groups earlier filed petitions for writ of amparo and habeas data against Esperon and President Rodrigo Duterte for alleged disappearances, arbitrary arrest, malicious prosecution, and defamation of some activists.
“The Court of Appeals has dismissed those petitions. We found out that the RPM’s registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission had been revoked since Sept. 29, 2003,” he told the Manila Standard.
Esperon filed charges of perjury against the accused before Branch 37 Judge Aimee Marie Alcera.
“I firmly believe that all of the accused have committed the crime of perjury as provided under the Revised Penal Code by deliberately lying to the Supreme Court in their statement that RMP is a duly-registered corporation,” he said.
Esperon slammed Belardo for misrepresentation, and even accepting local and international financial assistance and donations.
He accused the missionary group of operating “NPA schools in Mindanao.”