NBI on abduction of Iglesia ni Cristo ministers: ‘Case closed’
The National Bureau of Investigation has declared as “case closed” allegations of abduction of ministers of the religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC).
Atty. Manuel Eduarte, chief of the NBI-Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division, said Monday that they have closed its investigation after coordination with the INC’s Legal Office and after visiting the house of Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Manalo.
Felix Nathaniel and his mother, Cristina “Tenny” Villanueva Manalo, were expelled after they uploaded a video on YouTube claiming that their lives were in danger and that ministers were missing and allegedly abducted.
Tenny is the widow of the late Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Minister Eraño “Erdy” Manalo.
“Per report of my men, the team reported to us that they were not able to prove the allegations of abduction,” Eduarte said, despite the fact that the NBI team was not able to enter the premises of the Manalo compound.
“But they tried knocking at the gate which is locked. They were not given entry, so no information was gathered and they were told that there is no such thing as abduction committed inside the premises of INC,” Eduarte added.
He added that the NBI team also went to the INC Central Office along Tandang Sora in Quezon City and talked to the staff of its legal office.
“They are denying the existence of such abduction…They (members of the NBI team) reported back to the office and considering that they felt that somehow there is a squabble within, they did not bother to look into the allegations regarding anomalies.”
“So, for us, it is considered closed already although we are still in the process of awaiting further information from the grounds,” Eduarte said.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has ordered the NBI to look into the allegations of abduction after the YouTube video circulated in social media and suspended minister Isaias Samson Jr. said he was detained by Iglesia ni Cristo’s Sanggunian or Council of Elders.
But De Lima cautioned the NBI to be careful not to intervene in an internal squabble. AU
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