WATCH: Ex-Iglesia minister asks brethren to think before obeying
The expelled Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) minister whose criminal complaint against the sect’s leaders spurred a four-day protest on major Metro Manila roads has called on his brethren to discern before following orders from the powerful Sanggunian, the group’s governing council.
In an exclusive interview with the Inquirer Monday night, Isaias Samson Jr., also clarified that he was holding accountable only a few members of the church leadership who had allegedly placed him and his family under house arrest last month.
“To my brethren, I hope that you thoroughly examine what is happening right now. It is not true that I sued Brother Eduardo Manalo (the INC executive minister),” he said in a message addressing INC members.
“I am also not against the church. The truth is, I love the Church of Christ, I love brother Eduardo Manalo, that’s why I am now fighting corruption that I see is being committed by INC ministers,” he said, speaking to the Inquirer in one of his hiding places.
Samson filed last week charges of detention, harassment, threats and coercion charges against Sanggunian members before the Department of Justice (DOJ), a move that spurred protests against Justice
Secretary Leila de Lima. Members accused De Lima of giving undue attention to the case.
The case has not been assigned to an investigating prosecutor.
The crowd peaked at 20,000 at 1 a.m. Monday on Edsa, the protest ending hours later following a meeting between government and INC leaders.
BACKSTORY: Iglesia ni Cristo protester at Edsa rally: ‘Wala kaming napala. Nagpagod lang kami’
Wary about the status of his case, Samson called on President Benigno III Aquino and De Lima to give his family genuine justice and to give clarity to what really transpired during the government-INC meeting that led to the end of the protest.
“We hope that you will continue to help people like us who are oppressed. We know that God is most powerful of all, but we are also faithful that God uses people like you to give us justice,” Samson said.
Malacañang has denied that government made a deal with the INC just so the protesters would go home. Samson said the circumstances remained vague despite the denial.
BACKSTORY: No deal struck with Iglesia, says Palace
“Although I heard that the Palace denied that they had made any agreement, that is still vague because, on the other hand, INC is saying they are victorious because government has given in to their demand,” Samson said.
“It has to be explained. The Palace should be very transparent on this, because that’s my only protection,” he said.
Asked if he sensed unseen hands maneuvering the situation, Samson said: “I think there are some political figures, personalities, that are trying to use the Church, although I feel also that the Sanggunian is also trying to use them.”
“They are using each other,” he said.
Samson is currently in hiding, fearing for the safety of his family. He said he has been moving around, alleging that the Sanggunian was still following him. Tarra Quismundo/CB
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