DAVAO CITY – Mindanao interfaith leaders extended tribute to Catholic nun Sr. Antonietta Go of the Religious Good Shepherd who passed away Thursday from pancreatic cancer, by recognizing her advocacies for the indigenous peoples, trafficked minors and workers.
“Sister Tonet”, as she was fondly called, was executive secretary of the Sisters’ Association of Mindanao (Samin) from 1993 to 2005. She died in Cebu City on February 5 and was cremated at the Good Shepherd Convent Columbarium on Saturday.
Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, former executive director of the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation (MISFI), remembered Sister Tonet as her co-convener of various advocacy groups in Mindanao.
“She was particularly identified in the setting up of Solidarity Action Group for Indigenous Peoples (Sagip), PASAKA and the Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace),” Templa posted on her Facebook account.
Sagip started in a campaign supporting the Manobos of Talaingod, Davao del Norte in opposing the expansion of a logging concession. The group also launched various activities supporting the Manobo school children and leaders.
InPeace was formed in 2003 in the wake of bombings allegedly hatched by top-ranking military officers to instigate counter-terrorist operations in Mindanao.
Sister Tonet also took part in campaigns such as the ouster of former President Joseph Estrada, the opposition of the Visiting Forces Agreement, and support for striking union workers of Alcantara and Sons.
“You had been my partner in the interfaith solidarity work with the grassroots since the 90s. We worked hard with and for the Lumads, Moro, women and children, for their rights and welfare. I salute you for your dedication, commitment, passion and courage as a nun,” said Templa.
After her work in Samin, Sister Tonet was assigned to Cebu, where she worked with groups rescuing trafficked minors and prostituted women.
Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate also expressed tribute to Sister Tonet.
“Really saddened receiving the news (of) a good friend and tireless human rights defender and peace advocate …. We last saw each other during the August 23, 2014 People’s Congress in Cebu City launching the People’s Initiative to Abolish the Pork Barrel,” Zarate posted on his Facebook account.
Current Samin Executive Secretary Sr. Noemi Degala, who met Go as conveners of InPeace also saluted her predecessor.
“A Shepherd’s Compassionate Heart for the People, that’s who you are to us, Sr. Tonet, as we see you lived and witnessed your life among the Anawim (the poor) of Yahweh. Thank you for your radical, passionate and committed service to God’s people showing and sharing to everyone the Good Shepherd’s caring heart. Thanks for your legacy of serving with a ready smile’. So long, Sr. Tonet. We love you…. Farewell,” Degala said.(davaotoday.com)