INC council wants to help ‘brother’ in jail — lawyer
SAN PEDRO CITY – One of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) ministers, who was earlier reported as kidnapped, remains a member of the influential religious group.
In fact, the INC council is extending all the help it could give to its beleaguered brother, Lowell Menorca II, according to his lawyer Allen Blair Boy.
Menorca, 38, is currently detained in a jail in Dasmariñas City, Cavite for charges of grave threats and illegal possession of an explosive.
According to the police report, he was arrested on July 17 after threatening two construction workers with a hand grenade. It turned out that the grenade was taped allowing the workers to call the police.
Menorca is the son of the late Lowell Menorca, INC’s former Administrative Secretary. He is also known as Boyet, with an address in Bulan, Sorsogon.
A blog post written by a certain Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista named the young Menorca as one of the nine ministers allegedly expelled or kidnapped for being critical of the church. The blog said that Menorca was handcuffed and a white cloth thrown over his face while officiating a service in Sorsogon.
In a phone interview Friday, Boy denied that his client was abducted.
He, however, declined to answer why Menorca was in Cavite and where the grenande came from, saying this information might affect their case.
Asked whether Menorca was expelled by the INC council, Boy, also a member of the INC and who was chosen by the INC to handle the case, said he has not heard of any public declaration that his client has been expelled.
“Pinatutulungan pa nga (The INC council even ordered that help be extended to him). That’s very opposite of an expulsion,” he said.
No relation to Manalo crisis
Boy said Menorca’s case has nothing to do with the crisis involving the family of INC leader Eduardo Manalo, even if his arrest had happened a few days before the issue in the church divide became public.
He said the council did not immediately know that Menorca has been in jail for days already.
“(Menorca) is a very private person and actually wanted his case kept from the public,” Boy said, who met his client for the first time on Thursday.
On Friday, Menorca had issued an affidavit confirming his counsel’s statement to the police and the media. They were also preparing a counter affidavit to be filed at the Dasmariñas court.
“He is okay. We had a lengthy talk this morning and I even bought him food,” Boy said.
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