MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The head of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) decided to expel his own mother and brother from the powerful church after the two exposed a supposed death threat.
INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo made this decision after his brother, Felix Nathaniel "Angel" Manalo, and his mother, Tenny, said in a Youtube video that their lives "are in danger."
INC General Evangelist Bienvenido Santiago announced the expulsion of Angel and Tenny in a news conference on Thursday, July 23.
"Masakit man sa loob ng Kapatid na Eduardo Manalo ay ipinasya nila na itiwalag yung mga lumilikha ng mga pagkakabaha-bahagi sa Iglesia. Kaya sa mga pagsambang isasagawa ng Iglesia ni Cristo, simula sa araw na ito ay ipaaalam iyon sa lahat ng kapatid," Santiago said.
(While this is painful for Brother Eduardo Manalo, they decided to expel those creating divisions in the Church. In the worship services of the Iglesia ni Cristo starting today, we will be announcing this to our brethren.)
Santiago also denied the claims of Angel and Tenny in the Youtube video. (READ: From rag-tag sect to influential wheeler-dealer)
Angel is the younger brother of Eduardo, the present executive minister of INC, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014 and will be commemorating their 101st on Monday, July 27.
Their father is Eraño "Erdy" Manalo, who died in August 2009 and was Iglesia's former executive minister. (READ: Rappler's 2014 infographic on the INC)
Angel Manalo says in the video, "Nananawagan po kami sa inyo dahil nanganganib po ang aming buhay. Sana'y matulungan niyo po kami." (We are appealing to you because our lives are in danger. We hope that you can help us.)
He introduces his mother whose face is not seen in the video. Members of the Iglesia whom Rappler spoke with said it was indeed her voice.
Introducing herself as the widow of Ka Erdy Manalo who led the INC for 46 years, Tenny pleads, "Ako'y nananawagan sa aming mga kapatid sa Iglesia na tulungan ninyo kami dahil may panganib sa aming buhay. Saklolohan niyo ang aking mga anak, si Angel at Lottie at ang kanilang mga kasama. Tulungan niyo rin ang mga ministro na dinukot at hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nakikita. Kaawaan natin sila at ang kanilang pamilya."
(I am appealing to our brethren in the church to help us because there is a threat to our very lives. Please help my children, Angel and Lottie, and their companions. Let us also help the ministers who were taken and until now, have not yet been found. Let us show mercy to them and their families.) – with reports from Chay Hofilena/Rappler.com