Expelled INC minister hires 2 lawyers for defense in libel case
Expelled Iglesia ni Cristo minister Isaias Samson has hired the services of two lawyers for his legal defense in cases filed against him by the influential sect.
Samson, who use to edit the sect’s official organ Pasugo, is now being represented by lawyers Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles and Ahmed Paglinawan.
“Our representation covers the handling of his cases both as respondent and as complainant. His statements will be released through [us],” Angeles and Paglinawan said in a statement issued on Monday.
They added that Samson has been receiving death threats but remained determined to fight the alleged injustice done against him and his family.
“Mr. Samson needs to speak through his counsel because for the moment, the threat to his life and well-being remains real and continues. Despite this, however, he will not be silenced. He has been removed from the Church but his devotion to God and his faith are unshaken,” said Angeles and Paglinawan in a statement.
“This is not a schism. This is not a doctrinal issue. This is an issue of the frailty and in some instances, criminal behavior of persons, whom we will later identify in the appropriate cases. His trust in God remains,” they added.
Samson recently gained attention as one of the ministers illegally detained by persons identified with the INC’s governing council. He claimed he was was detained for questioning the suspicious transactions of several members of the INC. He recently made these questions public during a press conference.
Samson was later sued for the libel by the INC before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.
Angeles and Paglinawan said Samson was among the 10 INC ministers who were abducted or detained by the sect leaders determined to cover up alleged corruption within the church. Two other ministers and the brother of another have sought protection from the Department of Justice.
Samson claimed he and his family were detained and later expelled from the Church. He said he escaped from the clutches of his captors on July 23, after being detained for over a week.
“Mr. Samson would like to make it clear, that contrary to the statements made recently by INC Executive Minister, Eduardo Manalo, the crisis brought about by corrupt practices in the said Church, is not over. Not by a long shot. Mr. Samson seeks justice, not only for the illegal detention of himself, and his family, but the treatment of ministers and members whose sole intention is to ensure the integrity of the people who manage the Church’s affairs,” the lawyers said.
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