INC minister’s brother under witness protection program

MANILA, Philippines – The brother of allegedly abducted Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell “Boyet” Menorca II has been placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP), the Department of Justice confirmed on Saturday, August 1.

“Yes [Anthony Menorca has been placed under the WPP],” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed in a text message reply to Rappler.

De Lima said Anthony had requested that he be placed under the WPP.

A blogger with a pseudonym “Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista,” who has been exposing alleged wrongdoing in the century-old church, had claimed that Boyet was one of several INC ministers who had been allegedly kidnapped.

Boyet denied this when he was interviewed by INC spokesman Edwil Zabala in a news program shown in INC-run television station Net 25.

Anthony, who was interviewed by Rappler on July 29, believes Boyet’s denial was dictated by the Sanggunian (Council).

He said his brother was under duress during the televised interview because the Sangunnian had allegedly taken away Boyet's wife and one-year-old child. (READ: Sibling of ‘abducted’ minister to INC Council: Free my brother)

Anthony also believes his brother was only framed when he was arrested in Dasmariñas City, Cavite,  on July 17 for allegedly threatening two construction workers with a hand grenade. (READ: 'Abducted' INC minister released from Cavite jail)

At the time of his interview with Rappler, Anthony said he was hiding in an undisclosed location as he feared for his life. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.