Expelled Iglesia members ‘going straight to hell’ | Inquirer News
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Expelled Iglesia members ‘going straight to hell’

By: - Reporter / @erikaINQ
/ 02:54 AM November 05, 2015

Not only were they expelled from the homegrown religious sect, Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), when they delivered food and bottled water to some INC officials holed up in the church compound in July, they were damned for all eternity as well.

“You go straight to hell,” public grade school teacher Sarah Manuel tearfully told the court when asked about the consequences of her being expelled by the INC.

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Manuel said the expulsion came a week after she responded to the call for help issued in July through a YouTube video by Angel and Tenny Manalo, brother and mother, respectively, of INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo.

Angel Manalo and sister Lottie Manalo-Hemedez have been holed up in the Tandang Sora compound since the internal rift in the influential religious sect came to light.

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Manuel, who was presented as a witness against INC during a court hearing on Wednesday, recounted that she had gone to the compound to bring the Manalo siblings bottled water and food.

She was seen on television newscasts, the teacher said, so an INC minister and a deacon went to her classroom the following day to get her statement and apology.  Her explanation was apparently not accepted and she was subsequently expelled,  she added.

A lawyer for INC, Zeromsky Pineda, moved to strike out Manuel’s statement for being “irrelevant” to the court proceedings that tackled the church’s petition to bar visitors at its Quezon City compound.

But the Manalo siblings’ counsel, Trixie Cruz-Angeles, said the witness’ testimony was being offered to show the consequences to visitors of the Tandang Sora compound.

Angeles said “the implication in INC’s petition and the inclusion of pictures of people wearing masks and delivering goods to No. 36 Tandang Sora was very sinister.”

People were wearing masks because of what happened to [Manuel], the lawyer said.  “People like her had been expelled from the church simply for the act of delivering food and water,” Angeles added.

‘Terrorists’

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Lea Cabillan, a househelp for Lottie Manalo-Hemedez, was also presented as witness for the respondents.

Cabillan said some visitors delivering groceries and personal hygiene products were hiding their faces for fear of being expelled since they were still active members of the church.

Earlier, INC lead counsel Serafin Cuevas Jr. compared the masked visitors to “terrorists,” whose presence was deemed a security threat to the church and residents of the compound.

Manuel later told the Inquirer that her parents were also relieved of their positions as deacon and deaconess of INC, while her sister, who was living abroad, was “interrogated” after posting a comment on her Facebook status.

Despite Pineda’s objection, Judge Edgar Dalmacio Santos of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 222 allowed Manuel to continue with her testimony.

The INC lawyer, who moved to reset the cross-examination for the next hearing, said Cuevas was not around at the hearing Wednesday as he was attending to “equally important matters for the church.”

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TAGS: Eduardo Manalo, Iglesia Ni Cristo crisis, Lowell Menorca, Nation, News, Sarah M
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