Cops tied to Menorca wife abduction also stood as escorts, say 2 witnesses | Inquirer News

Cops tied to Menorca wife abduction also stood as escorts, say 2 witnesses

/ 02:40 AM January 23, 2016

JINKY MENORCA/JAN.21,2016 Jinky Menorca wife of former Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)  minister Lowell Menorca and their child during a press conference in Greenhills, San Juan. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

Jinky Menorca, wife of former Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell Menorca,  and their child speaks to the members of the media during a press conference in, Greenhills, San Juan. RAFFY LERMA

Policemen did not only abduct Jinky Menorca and her daughter in Sorsogon province last year but they also acted as escorts when the two were transported from Sorsogon to a Quezon City condo controlled by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), witnesses have told the Inquirer.

Another set of policemen also acted as guards at the Central Apartelle where the wife and daughter of expelled INC minister Lowell Menorca II were detained, according to one of the witnesses who recently left the government’s witness protection program (WPP).


READ: Cops tied to INC under fire


The witnesses entered the WPP in September after submitting sworn statements to the National Bureau of Investigation tasked by former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to conduct an investigation into the reported abduction of several INC ministers, including Menorca.

The witnesses said in their statements that INC official Rolando Esguerra and TJ Orosa, the son-in-law of INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo, went to their house in Quezon City in the afternoon of July 16, 2015, several hours after the alleged abduction of Lowell Menorca by armed men inside the INC compound in Sorsogon.

“It was Esguerra who told us that Lowell was taken by the armed men on their orders, and they assured us that he would not be harmed,” one witness said.

“Esguerra also told us that at the time, the wife and daughter of Menorca were also on their way to Manila escorted by policemen to avoid delay,” the witness said.

On July 17, 2015, the witness said he was informed by Esguerra that Menorca’s wife and daughter had arrived from Sorsogon and were on the fifth floor of the Central Apartelle inside the INC complex.

The witnesses said that when they arrived at the apartelle at 6:30 in the morning, a policeman was posted at the building’s ground floor. One of the witnesses identified the policeman as Cris Quilano.


“The policeman confiscated our cell phones before we were allowed to go up to the unit where a policewoman who we could not identify was also posted to guard the wife and daughter of Menorca inside the room,” the witnesses said.

The witness told the Inquirer that they left the WPP after De Lima was replaced as justice secretary after she filed her   certificate of candidacy for senator in 2016.

“We left because we felt we are also in prison inside the WPP because our movements were restricted and we were not allowed to speak to reporters,” one of the witnesses said.

An NBI agent who is privy to the investigation confirmed that the witnesses have submitted sworn statements to NBI investigators regarding the abduction of the Menorcas.

“They were recommended to enter the WPP, but we did not know that they left the program,” the agent said.


Lowell Menorca’s wife calls arrest ‘overkill, traumatic, delaying tactic’

TIMELINE: Menorca vs INC officials

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TAGS: INC, Jinky Menorca, Leila de Lima, Police, Sorsogon

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