Cops round up Manalo siblings in Iglesia raid
Expelled Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members Felix Nathaniel “Angel” Manalo, his sister Lolita “Lottie” Hemedez and 30 others were rounded up by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) after a shooting incident that took place while operatives were conducting a raid in the controversial INC compound on Thursday.
The raid reportedly yielded several firearms in an alleged armory inside the Manalo residence.
Operatives of the QCPD were implementing a search warrant against Manalo, Hemedez and other residents of the compound at No. 36 Tandang Sora Avenue after shots were reportedly fired inside the area on Monday. Two security guards employed by the Iglesia ni Cristo Security Department were involved.
The warrant was issued by Judge Angelene Mary Quimpo-Sale of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 106 against the expelled siblings as well as Jonathan Ledesma, Ariel Santos, Arnel Arellano and several John and Jane Does.
The basis of the warrant was the statement of the two guards, Ardine Marcoso and Jervie Rejano, that an “armory” inside the Manalo residence contained several firearms.
The firearms may serve as probable cause for violation of Republic Act No. 10591, or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunitions, the warrant said.
Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, QCPD director, said the 32, which included two minors, were brought for questioning after shots were fired toward the operatives from Talipapa police, Special Reaction Unit (SRU), Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, and District Public Safety Battalion, who served the warrant around 10 a.m.
SRU members PO2 Henry Escular and PO3 Joner Adasan sustained gunshot wounds on the shoulder and the calf, police said.
Eleazar said the raid yielded several firearms, which included a shotgun, an M16 rifle, two Carbine light automatic rifles, a rifle grenade, a .40-cal. pistol, an upper receiver infant and more than 100 bullets.
In a statement, Manalo, brother of executive minister Felix Manalo, said their residence was being demolished without any court order.
“For six days now, we have not received our ration of food and water,” he said. Electricity and water supply were also allegedly cut off from their residence.
“Our lawyers and other visitors are prohibited to enter and see us,” he added.
Sought for comment regarding the INC’s alleged involvement, Edwil Zabala, church spokesperson, maintained that it was a “legitimate police operation” and said the questions should be directed to the QCPD instead.
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