Iglesia minister’s lawyer denies househelp held against her will
ONE OF the lawyers of expelled Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell Menorca II on Monday denied his family was illegally detaining a househelp and forcing her to testify against the church’s leaders at today’s hearings on the petitions for habeas corpus and amparo at the Court of Appeals (CA).
Lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles denied that Abegail Yanson, 24, was being detained against her will after her mother, Rosalie, recently appealed to Menorca to release her daughter and stop pressuring her to testify in the case.
Rosalie Yanson made the appeal during an interview with the INC-run Eagle Broadcasting Corp.
Angeles said Abegail Yanson had volunteered to be one of the corroborating witnesses of Menorca.
“She (Abegail) isn’t being held against her will and she is very angry that her parents are being manipulated. She will be issuing a statement possibly on Tuesday,” Angeles told reporters.
Angeles noted that Yanson’s parents never complained about her disappearance after she was allegedly detained at the INC Central Temple complex in Quezon City along with Menorca and his family.
“[Rosalie’s appeal] is a reminder that Abegail’s parents are with the church officials now,” she added.
Menorca, 38, is expected to appear at the CA today and recount his abduction from Bulan, Sorsogon, last July by policemen who he said brought him to Dasmariñas City, Cavite, to be killed.
Bulan policemen, however, intervened and charged him with illegal possession of a grenade, which was later dropped, Menorca said.
Menorca said he was taken to the temple complex where he rejoined his family from whom he was separated in Sorsogon. The Menorcas were rescued on Oct. 23 from a house in Quezon City.
Named as respondents in the habeas corpus and amparo cases are INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo and members of the church’s Sanggunian or governing council.
Meanwhile, the Society of Communicators and Networkers (Scan) International on Monday filed a libel complaint against Menorca for calling the organization the “hit squad” of the religious sect.
Ariel Guab Higuit, president of the Scan Albay chapter, led a group of INC members who trooped to the city prosecutor’s office in Legazpi City to file the libel complaint against Menorca.
Scan Albay is one of the group’s seven chapters in Bicol that filed a similar complaint against the former INC minister in their respective localities on Monday, according to Higuit.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.