By Christina Hermoso
The Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Philippines has joined Catholic and Christians groups that have expressed support to the clergymen being accused of sedition and cyber libel.
ACN, a Papal charity organization that supports churches in difficult situations, labeled the charges filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), as a form of “persecution to the Church.”
ACN helps and supports persecuted Christians.
“Such charges against them constitute persecution of the Church,” said ACN Philippines national director Jonathan Luciano, in a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News post.
“These charges are devoid of truth and justice, decency, and respect for their human dignity,” he added.
Luciano said the charges filed against the churchmen were “baseless.”
The Department of Justice on August 9, Friday, started the preliminary investigation on the charges filed by the PNP-CIDG against the clergymen and several opposition leaders.
Churchmen accused are Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Novaliches Bishop-Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, and Fr. Albert Alejo, Fr. Robert Reyes, Fr. Flavie Villanueva, and De La Salle Brother Armin Luistro.
Villegas has been serving as president of ACN Philippines since the office was opened in Manila in 2016.
“We continue to pray and hope that the government and respectful officials concerned will wield justice with truth, the practice of law with integrity,” Luciano said.