Palace to Iglesia ni Cristo: DOJ is only performing its duty
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang came to the defense of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday, August 28, as members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) flocked near the historic EDSA Shrine to protest what they say is government interference with the church.
"The Department of Justice has been performing its duties in accordance with its mandate of ensuring every person equal access to justice, to faithfully safeguard constitutional rights and to ensure that no one is deprived of due process of law,” said Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
The DOJ is investigating senior INC members, who are facing an illegal detention complaint filed by expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr.
Coloma added that there are legal options for people who would seek to question the actions of the justice department.
The Palace position was in direct contrast to those of two leading contenders for the presidency in 2016. Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe said earlier on Friday that the thousands of INC members on a vigil were only fighting for their religious freedom.
Coloma said the government is hoping that the INC protest rallies will continue to be peaceful.
"We trust that expressions of dissent will continue to be peaceful, orderly and not in any way disruptive of normal activities of our citizenry," he said.
The INC is facing its worst crisis in years, as ministers alleged they had been abducted after questioning corrupt practices within the secretive and politically influential church.
In July, INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo’s brother and mother claimed that their lives were in danger and hinted about the kidnapping of ministers who are critical of the INC.
Angel and Tenny Manalo, along with other ministers and members, were then expelled from the church.
The DOJ said that it would be looking into the allegations. – Rappler.com