Expelled INC Manalo kin calls for people power
Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Villanueva Manalo, who had been expelled along with his mother and siblings from Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) by his brother, INC executive minister Eduardo V. Manalo, urged members of the religious sect to gather at his residence on Tandang Sora Avenue and hold a vigil to send a “strong statement” amid what looks like an ongoing crisis in the INC leadership.
He also told Quezon City Police Director Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao that there was no hostage-taking incident in his own residence, after confusing handwritten signs claiming they were surrounded by armed men were posted on their window earlier, leading them to seek help from authorities.
“I did not say that we were held hostage. Mayroon lang pong batang nagbibiro (A child apparently posted the note as a joke),” Manalo said.
Angel and his mother, Cristina “Tenny” Villanueva Manalo, were expelled after posting a YouTube video claiming their lives were in danger. Also expelled were his siblings Marco Eraño Villanueva Manalo and Lolita Manalo Hemedez.
But Manalo maintained there were INC ministers who had been abducted. “Napakarami na pong katiwalian. Ang pinakamasaklap sa lahat ’yung mga missing na ministro (There are many anomalies. Worst of all is that there are missing ministers),” he said.
INC spokesman Bro. Edwil Zabala arrived at the residence later and spoke with Pagdilao, eventually to the media.
“No one is being held against his will,” Zabala said.
Manalo also revealed the corrupt practices within the ranks of INC, including the $200-million construction of the Philippine Arena–the world’s largest indoor arena inaugurated in July last year. He said the INC should have used the budget for building more churches instead of the arena.
“Hindi kami papayag na lapastanganin ang doktrina ng INC (We won’t allow the doctrine of the INC to be disrespected,” he said.
Before Angel denied that his family is being held captive in their own home, Zabala said proving truth in the claims of Angel and Tenny would be a “litmus test” for the Manalos.
“Kung hindi ito mapapatunanyan na sila ay nagsasabi ng totoo, ano pa kaya ‘yung kanilang mga sinabi na hindi totoo? Dito natin mauumpisahan (If it can’t be proven that they are saying the truth, what else could they have lied about? This is where we start),” he said.
It turns out the hostage claims were not true.
After the police negotiated with Angel, Quezon City Mayor arrived at the area as he was tasked by Executive Ochoa secretary Paquito Ochoa to monitor the situation.
“It’s an internal matter. Those written in blogs that ministers were kidnapped or held hostage are not true,” Bautista said.
Like the police, Bautista was also baffled as to why the Manalos have been evading dialogues with police authorities.
“The authorities are here. Hindi naman sinusugod ng police ang loob nila (The police is not barging into their home). No harrassment is being done. We are just here to ensure peace and that everything is fine,” he said.
As the QCPD officials and Zabala wrapped up the negotiation, at least 20 policemen were sent to guard the Manalo residence few meters away from the INC Central Temple.
Parked police cars were also used as barriers in front of the compound’s main gate. When INQUIRER.net asked one police officer, he said they were told to anticipate stampedes n the area once supporters of the expelled INC members troop to Tandang Sora. RA/KS
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