Philippines: Carmelite protests at police raids on convents

 Religious Ccngregations in the Philippines have called the government to stop harassing religious communities. Carmelite Brother Gilbert Billena, a justice and peace spokesman for Filipino religious referred to illegal raids conducted by the police on the convents of the Contemplatives of the Good Shepherd and MSM sisters on All Souls Day, November 1, in the southern Philippines during a manhunt for a Marxist leader. Members of the regional police intelligence unit and regional mobile group led by Police Superintendent Wilfredo Reyes, regional intelligence chief, onducted the raid on the Contemplatives of the Good Shepherd convent in Tiniwisan, west of Butuan City. The city, 750 kilometres southeast of Manila. "For me, the incident is another clear indication of the culture of impunity and ruthlessness that men in uniform seem to have embraced, while littering this country with the dead bodies of peace advocates and political activists. If church people could be so shabbily treated by the police the way the contemplative nuns were, how much more so were ordinary Filipinos," he said. Brother Billena called for the police involved in the raids to be penalised.

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