INC IN CRISIS – Iglesia ni Cristo Woes Brought to Court

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THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO central in Quezon City

 
MANILA — The rift among leaders of the influential Iglesio ni Cristo seems far from over as charges and counter charges are brought to the courts and members stage a rally in Anaheim, California.
This as many INC leaders asked INC leader Eduardo Manalo to talk to his brother Angel and their mother to patch up their differences.

Witnesses in the petition for writ of habeas corpus and amparo against some officials of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) will undergo the cross-examination.
The Court of Appeals (CA) Seventh Division opened its hearing on petitions filed before it and set the cross-examination on the next hearing on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m.During the hearing, INC leaders asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to dismiss the petition for writ of habeas corpus and amparo filed by Anthony Menorca and Jungko Otsuka.
The petition was filed to present before the CA the living bodies of former INC Minister Lowell Menorca, his wife Jinky Otsuka, daughter Yurie and househelper Abegail Yanson.
Present during the hearing were Lowell Menorca, Jinky Otsuka and daughter Yurie, as well as Yanson.
On the camp of the respondents, only their legal counsels headed by Atty. Patricia Ann Prodigalidad appeared before the CA.
Instead of a direct-examination, the camp of the respondents will just submit the judicial affidavit for their nine witnesses..
The two witnesses of the petitioners earlier submitted their respective judicial affidavits.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the legal counsels of the petitioners and respondents, namely Atty. Trixie Angeles and Atty. Patricia Ann Prodigalidad had a heated argument.
Upon the orders of Associate Justice Magdangal De Leon, the witnesses of the petitioners were supposed to subscribe to their prepared judicial affidavits, however, it was blocked by the camp of the respondents.
Prodigalidad insisted that as the Menorcas and Yanson are not experiencing restraint or curtailment of their freedom, hence, it is not anymore necessary to present the affidavits of the witnesses.
She cited a jurisprudence of the Supreme Court which states that if a person who is the center of a petition for habeas corpus and amparo is already free man, the case should be dismissed.
She added that the petition does not mention about the continuous threats to the Menorca couple and their daughter, hence, there’s no threat to stop through the amparo.
She said that they submitted to the Court the sworn statements of two security guards and a tourist guide.
However, she did not provide any details about the said sworn statements.
The lawyers of the INC insisted that the petition should be dismissed because the lives of Lowell and his family are not in danger.
The petitioners claimed that the Menorca family was placed under custody by the INC.
The Menorca family earlier filed the petition for writ of amparo and writ of habeas corpus geared towards protecting the brother of Anthony Menorca, Lowell and his family and direct the INC to produce their living bodies before the CA.
Meanwhile, none of the INC officials and policemen accused of illegal detention showed up at the Department of Justice’s preliminary investigation on two complaints filed by former ministers of the influential group.
Complainants Isaias Samson Jr. and Jose Fruto both attended the hearing. Samson was accompanied by fellow complainants, wife Myrna and son Isaias.
Named respondents in Samson’s complaint were Sanggunian head Glicerio Santos Jr., Radel Cortez, Bienvenido Santiago, Jr., Mathusalem Pareja, Rolando Esguerra, Erano Codera, Rodelio Cabrera and Maximo Bularan.
In a related development, the legal counsel of an expelled Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister is facing disbarment charges before the Supreme Court.
Trixie Angeles, the lawyer of expelled INC minister Lowell Menorca and his wife Jinky, allegedly violated her oath as a lawyer for “continuously detaining” her clients’ househelp, Abegail Yanson.
Roselie Yanson, the mother of Abegail, filed a five-page complaint-affidavit against the lawyer, citing that she also violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.
“[A]ttorney Angeles knew that the Menorcas are detaining Abegail Yanson against her will for the purpose of using her testimony against INC,” the complaint read.
Meanwhile, Angeles said that it is best for Abegail to respond to the said issue as she is the alleged victim.
“I’m fairly sure she will do so soon enough,” Angeles said.

None of the Iglesia ni Cristo officials and policemen accused of illegal detention showed up at the Department of Justice’s preliminary investigation on two complaints filed former ministers of the influential church group.
Complainants Isaias Samson Jr and Jose Fruto both attended the hearing. Samson was accompanied by his fellow co-complainants, wife Myrna and son Isaiah.
“Huwag natin ipikit ang ating mga mata lalo na iyong mga iministro at manggagawa. Alam naman ninyo ang nangyayari… sana po ay God will touch your hearts para sa ganoon ay ma-open na rin ang inyong mga mata,” said Samson before the start of the hearing.
The preliminary probe was conducted by a panel composed of Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas, ASP Mark Roland Estepa and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva.
After having the complainants sign and subscribe to their respective affidavits, the panel sought the side of the respondents’ lawyers, who opted to no longer present their defense. This prompted the panel to submit the case for resolution.
Named respondents in Samson’s complaint were Sanggunian head Glicerio Santos Jr; Radel Cortez, Bienvenido Santiago Sr, Mathusalem Pareja, Rolando Esguerra, Erano Codera, Rodelio Cabrera and Maximo Bularan.
In Fruto’s complaints, Santos, Cortez, Pareja, Cabrera, Bularan Esguerra were also named respondents, with Erdz Cordera, Ernesto Suratos, Macleo Ibasco, Bienvenido Benefrido, Benildo Santiago, PO3 Noel Vitug, PO1 Abendano, SPO4 Florentino, SPO1 Rommel Bautista, Senior Superinte Bartolome Bustamante, and Vimar Barcellano, John and Jane Does.
– See more at: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/543449/news/nation/iglesia-ni-cristo-leaders-skip-hearing-on-ex-minister-s-abduction#sthash.JJfbcip3.dpuf

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