TIMELINE: Menorca vs INC officials
JULY 16, 2015. A group of people on board a convoy arrives at Bulan town in Sorsogon province to arrest Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell Menorca II.
Menorca is transferred to and detained in a jail in Dasmariñas, Cavite province, on charges of grave threats and illegal possession of an explosive after threatening two construction workers with a hand grenade.
July 24. Menorca issues an affidavit confirming his counsel’s statement to the police and the media.
Allen Blair Boy, whom the INC council has sent as counsel for Menorca, denies the kidnapping of his client, saying that INC is in fact extending him all the help he needs.
July 26. Menorca is released by the police. In his interview over the INC-run Net25 television, he denies that he was abducted.
Aug. 1. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says the Department of Justice has taken under its Witness Protection Program Anthony Menorca, Lowell’s younger brother, due to alleged threats to his and his family’s lives.
Oct. 21. Menorca’s siblings and his wife Jinky file a petition in the Supreme Court to compel the INC leadership to surface him and his family members, saying they are “being held against their own will” by an organization that is acting like a “ravenous monster.”
The plea seeks the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus and a writ of amparo (protection). It names INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo as the chief respondent, along with members of the governing council, including Radel Cortez, Bienvenido Santiago, Rolando Esguerra “and all persons acting for and on their behalf.”
Oct. 23. The Supreme Court grants the Menorca relatives’ petition for writs of amparo and habeas corpus (to produce a detained person in court), releasing the resolution just hours after the family regains its freedom.
Menorca confirms that he and his family were abducted at the INC compound in Quezon City, saying his statements in past interviews were all lies orchestrated by the church leadership.
Oct. 25. At a press conference, Menorca accuses members of the INC advisory council of having him kidnapped and detained so he could be killed on the grounds that he was the blogger who exposed alleged corruption and other anomalies in the religious sect.
He adds that policemen from Quezon City also tried to kill him by lobbing a grenade into a dilapidated car he was riding near a cemetery in Dasmariñas. The grenade, however, did not explode and Dasmariñas policemen sent to finish him off took pity on him and just charged him with illegal possession of explosives.
Nov. 2. Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Menorca’s lawyer, denies that Abegail Yanson, Menorca’s house help, is 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.
The Society of Communicators and Networkers (SCAN) International-Albay chapter files a libel complaint against Menorca for calling the organization the “hit squad” of the religious sect.
Nov. 3. During the first hearing on a plea for Menorca’s protection in the Court of Appeals, Angeles asserts her clients deserve continued court protection after an alleged assault by a woman on helper Abegail Yanson while on the premises of the appellate court.
Patricia-Ann Prodigalidad, one of at least 10 lawyers representing the INC officials, said the woman was Yanson’s mother, “in tears” and “only wanted to hug her daughter as she hasn’t seen her for several months.”
“We are saying that they (Menorcas) are no longer entitled to the protection of the writ (amparo). There is no continuing threat. The Menorcas are surrounded by security,” Prodigalidad said.
Nov. 4. Yanson’s parents, Candido and Rosalie Yanson, file a serious illegal detention complaint against Menorca and his wife Jinky in the Department of Justice for allegedly detaining their daughter.
The elder Yansons claim they had been looking for their daughter for more than three months since the Menorcas left Bulan, Sorsogon.
Dec. 1. Lawyers of INC officials manage to block the testimony of Menorca during the hearing on the habeas corpus and amparo cases he had filed in the Court of Appeals.
INC counsel Rogelio Vinluan asked the justices of the Court of Appeals Seventh Division to strike Menorca’s direct testimony, saying Menorca’s judicial affidavit was noncompliant with court rules, on top of being full of speculation and conclusions. Compiled by Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives
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