Iglesia ni Cristo lawyer’s claim not true, says palace
Malacañang has dismissed as “totally untrue” reports that the filing of criminal charges against eight leaders of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) was a consequence of the sect’s alleged refusal to back a Palace candidate in the 2016 elections.
The reports were apparently referring to Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma strongly denied on Thursday claims that the INC snub had angered the administration and apparently in retaliation, tried to cause a division in the religious group’s ranks.
Coloma, who also heads the Presidential Communications Operations Office, told the Inquirer that the government “is firmly committed to upholding the rule of law without fear or favor, unfettered by political considerations.”
Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, an INC member, had told a Manila media forum that Malacañang’s alleged efforts to divide the INC prompted members of the group to hold last week’s protest.
He was quoted as having said: “They were breaking the unity of the INC. When it became evident that the administration candidate would not get support, they looked for a way to break us.”
He did not name the candidate he was referring to.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, asked about criticisms by the INC on the “extraordinary attention” she was allegedly giving the case filed against the INC leaders, said she was just doing her job.
“My motive always is fealty to my sworn duty. I don’t have any other motive,” she told reporters.
The other day, De Lima said the preliminary investigation of the criminal charges would definitely push through.
The complaints filed by Isaias Samson Jr. and his family and Lito Fruto “will go through the regular process,” she said, noting the conduct of the preliminary investigation was “ministerial” on the part of the agency. Jerry E. Esplanada
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