Falun Gong sues Chinese embassy

Manila, Philippine - A CHINA-BASED group yesterday sued officials of Chinese embassy in the Philippines for P2 million for launching a massive smear campaign against the group before the Pasig City prosecutor’s office.

Aside from Chinese Ambassador Hu Wong Bo and deputy chief of mission to the Philippines Xiao Qian, Falun Gong practitioners also filed libel suit against four local Chinese-language newspapers — Chinese Commercial News, World News, United Daily News and Sino-Fil Daily — for publishing libelous press releases about the group.

In the news articles, the group alleged that the Chinese embassy officials have been spreading “rumors” that Falun Gong “is a dangerous group whose members hurt others.”

“On the contrary, the principles of Falun Gong are truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Falun Gong only teaches people to be good, and think of others first under all circumstances,” said Jobo Lavina, one of the group’s members.

He said the news reports also urged “The Chinese people to eliminate Falun Gong practitioners in the Philippines.”

The group, assisted by lawyer Manuel Albano, trooped to the new Justice Hall at the back of Pasig City Hall along Caruncho Avenue around 11 a.m.

“We are also filing this to correct the misconception about Falun Gong due to the smear campaign,” Lavina said, noting that the self-immolation or setting one’s self in flames is one of the lies being spread about the practitioners.

At present, there are about 2,000 people in the Philippines practicing Falun Gong, a discipline exported from China, according to the group.

Lavina said the Chinese government is afraid of losing its control over the Chinese populace because of the growing number of Falun Gong practitioners worldwide.

“It’s not only the Falun Gong practitioners that the Chinese Communist Party are going after but other religious groups as well,” he noted.

In other countries, Falun Gong practitioners have already filed similar suits to protect the group.

The crackdown on the group’s practitioners has started since 1999. Millions of Chinese died from the severe torture by Chinese authorities since then.