Expelled INC member Lowell Menorca accused of adultery

MANILA, Philippines – After being slapped with several libel complaints that landed him in jail for two nights, expelled Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) evangelical worker Lowell Menorca II is facing a new complaint – but for a different issue altogether.

The ex-church worker is being accused of carrying on an adulterous affair with one Aedtnavye Juntilla "AJ" Lazo since 2008.

Lazo's husband, Davis Flores, filed a complaint-affidavit against his estranged wife and Menorca before the Manila prosecutor's office on Friday, February 12.

Previously, Menorca was at the receiving end of a string of libel cases and was released on bail only last January 22. Menorca was expelled from the INC in 2015 after he accused top Iglesia officials of ordering his 3-month detention to force him to expose members critical of the 101-year-old church. (READ: INC minister Lowell Menorca: The story of my kidnapping)

In his complaint, Flores said he has recently discovered that his wife – whom he had married in May 2007 – had been having an affair with Menorca, his long-time acquaintance. 

Menorca himself is married to Jingky Otsuka Menorca. The couple has one child, a two-year-old daughter. 

Flores said he introduced Menorca to Lazo about 2-3 months into his marriage. It was in early 2008, he said, that a "brewing relationship" began between the two respondents.

He also said that Lazo herself admitted having an "illicit affair" with the ex-INC minister after he confronted her in September 2015. 

"She tried to be evasive at first but later succumbed to the avalanche of the body of evidence which, when pieced together, conclusively proves a forbidden affair – an array of evidence that showed the obvious and where no quibbling can successfully stand," Flores said.

"She was completely shattered and had to finally admit to me that she and respondent Menorca began their illicit affair since 2008 and which continued up to – and obviously after – that confrontation. Instead of asking for forgiveness, she deserted our home and lived elsewhere in an apartment reportedly owned or rented by her paramour: respondent Menorca," Flores added.

Evidence

Flores' complaint-affidavit detailed events that, he said, were circumstantial evidence of the adulterous relationship between Lazo and Menorca.

He claimed that Menorca would give Lazo expensive food and gifts, and send endearing messages that Flores found inappropriate. In one instance in 2009, Flores said he saw Menorca visit Lazo at the New Era Hospital, when the latter got hospitalized for abdominal pains. 

"During that time and through the years, there were also numerous instances when I would see in our bathroom lots of bathsoaps, shampoos and other toiletries from Manila Diamond Hotel, Bayview Park Hotel and Sogo Hotel, all located in the City of Manila and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Office. I would even see receipts from Robinsons Place Manila, which is also located in the City of Manila and within the jurisdiction of the Honorable Office," Flores narrated.

Earlier this week, Flores said he was shocked to find "incriminating pictures" of Menorca and Lazo posted online.

"They could be mistaken for lovers with deep affection to each other, but more than enough for a man to bear – conscious of his regard to his name and honor – and more than enough to break the proverbial camel’s back," Flores said.

Before finding the pictures, Flores said he had also stumbled on a blog with entries dating back to 2008. He claimed that Menorca had used aliases to hide their identities while he "proudly documented his adulterous affair" with Lazo.

Flores is filing criminal charges against both respondents. – Rappler.com