MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Angel Manalo called on his brother, Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) executive minister Eduardo Manalo, to stop the construction of high fences in the compound on No. 36 Tandang Sora in Quezon City.
“Nanawagan po ako sa aking kapatid, kapatid na Eduardo Manalo at nakikiusap sa kanila na sana pagbigyan na kami sa gusto naming mangyari ay alisin nila ang binakod nila sa loob ng bahay,” Manalo told reporters on Tuesday, December 15.
(I’m calling on my brother, brother Eduardo Manalo, and pleading with him [and Iglesia ni Cristo members] to grant our request to remove the fences they built around the house).
“Halos wala na kaming madaanan, binakuran na nila ang lahat ng lugar na dapat daanan namin,” he added.
(There’s hardly any space for us to pass, they fenced the entire area that’s supposed to be our passageway.)
Manalo was referring to the fences the INC members built in the compound to supposedly seal off the area. (READ: After P1M unpaid Meralco bill, power cut in INC Manalo house)
According to Lolita “Lottie” Manalo-Hemedez’ lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles, the construction of the enclosures was not part of what was agreed upon in court. Hemedez is the estranged sister of Eduardo Manalo.
Angeles said: “May violation po… magfafile po kami ng motion bukas at doon po ilalahad namin lahat ng aming defenses at allegation ukol sa nangyari ngayon.”
(There is a violation of the [court order]. We will file a motion tomorrow and there we will present all our defenses and allegations about what transpired today.)
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, December 15, a commotion occurred in the compound area when Angel went out and called on members of the media to take photos of the barriers being built inside.
However, the security barred the media from entering, saying that it is an Iglesia ni Cristo property. The church has been claiming ownership of 36 Tandang Sora – a claim being contested by Lottie Hemedez. (READ: Who owns 36 Tandang Sora? Manalo sister questions INC claims)
A court inspection was scheduled at 9:30 in the morning of Tuesday, December 15, based on the INC’s petition for injunction to identify who the people living inside, and who the visitors to the compound, are.
Lawyers of both camps came in at 10 am, along with inspectors sent by Quezon City Court Branch 222 and barangay officials.
But Angeles said the inspection did not proceed, failing to cite specific reasons.
The influential church filed a petition in September to prohibit siblings Lottie and Angel from accepting visitors and deliveries to the compound because of security concerns.
Hemedez questioned the church’s authority to order them, saying that the INC does not own the property.
The INC presented a deed of sale that supposedly transfers ownership of the Tandang Sora house to the church.
The document was dated April 21, 2015, and bore the supposed signatures of Lottie and her husband Eduard. But expelled INC minister Isaias Samson Jr said this could not have been signed by Lottie’s husband, who died in April 2013.
On December 15, at about 7:50 pm, expelled minister Lowell Menorca, who had said he was abducted by people associated with the Iglesia, spoke with Hemedez on the phone. Rappler obtained a recording of their conversation which was also uploaded on the sound cloud of “Antonio Ebangelista”, a critic of the Iglesia leadership.
Listen to their conversation: