|INC RIFT. A rift among the leaders in the influential Iglesia ni Cristo has surfaced with some ministers like Lowell Menorca shown in a photo grab of a TV appearance allegedly abducted. Spokesmen of INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo denied the claim.|
MANILA — A brother of one of the ministers of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) has filed before the Supreme Court (SC) a petition for habeas corpus directed at the leadership of the INC to producer the minister in court.
The petition for the writs of amparo and habeas corpus was filed by Anthony Menorca, brother of INC minister Lowell Menorca; and Jungki Otsuka, twin sister of Lowell’s wife Jinky Otsuka-Menorca.
Named respondents in the petition were INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, and members of the INC Executive Council Radel Cortez, Rolando Esguerra and Bienvenido Santiago.
In a nine-page petition, the petitioners asked the SC to order the respondents to bring with them before the Court the living bodies of Lowell, his wife Jinky, daughter Yurie, and househelp Abbegail.
The petitioners alleged that their family members and househelp were in the custody of the respondents, PNA reported.
The petitioners alleged that Lowell was abducted by unidentified armed men while he was walking on the way to his pastoral house in Bulan, Sorsogon last July and his wife was compelled to be placed under the custody of the INC after she was threatened on the phone by Esguerra that she would no longer see Lowell if she would not appear at the INC Central Office in Commonwealth, Quezon City.
The petitioners also claimed that the INC was behind the abduction of Menorca as well as the alleged illegal detention committed against him and his family.
They added that the INC leadership believed that Lowell was also Antonio Ebangelista, the blogger who wrote about the alleged controversy in the INC.
The petitioners expressed fears that for as long as Lowell and his family remain in the custody of the INC, their safety is in danger.
If ever the respondents deny that the Menorca family is in their custody, the petitioners asked the SC to order the inspection of the alleged detention area inside the INC Central Compound.
They further asked the SC to order the submission before the Court of the relevant documents, including the electronic surveillance reports of ACTIV, the internet technology department of INC, and direct the respondents neither to get near nor contact the Menorca family.