Prosecutor’s findings vs Angel Manalo upheld
The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has upheld the earlier finding of probable cause against expelled Iglesia Ni Cristo senior member Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Manalo and two other respondents in the illegal gun possession complaint filed against them in March.
In a resolution, Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Veronica Pagayatan said she found “no reason to disturb” the March 6 resolution of inquest prosecutor Nilo Peñaflor against Manalo, his nephew Victor Eraño Manalo Hemedez and ex-Marine officer Jonathan Ledesma.
The Manalo camp earlier filed a motion for reinvestigation, which the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 84 granted in June.
But Pagayatan ruled that “the foregoing argument and issues raised by respondents are basically a rehash of the ground relied upon their motion to quash the search warrant and/or suppress evidence before the trial court.”
Not about guilt
She stressed that her Sept. 14 resolution did not establish the respondents’ guilt but only the existence of probable cause.
In previous statements, Manalo questioned why he was singled out among the more than 25 people rounded up when the Quezon City police raided the controversial INC-owned compound in Tandang Sora and found dozens of guns, explosives and over 17,000 rounds of ammunition.
Pagayatan noted that Angel, the estranged brother of INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, had admitted being the owner of the house where the weapons were found.
“The claim of frame-up is equally unmeritorous,” she said.
Manalo, Hemedez and Ledesma have yet to be arraigned and remain in detention at the Metro Manila District Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
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