Jinky Menorca slams husband's arrest as 'overkill'

MANILA, Philippines – Slamming her husband's arrest as "overkill", Jinky Menorca appealed to the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) to stop harassing her family, as ex-INC minister Lowell Menorca II faces another night in jail.

In a press conference on Thursday, January 21, Jinky said the commotion on Wednesday morning, when her husband initially resisted arrest by plainclothes policemen, could have been avoided if the officers had identified themselves properly as law enforcers.

Earlier, the Menorcas said the policemen did not show their badges and merely "flashed" the arrest warrant for a libel complaint filed in Mindanao against the expelled Iglesia minister.

"Yesterday's arrest was clearly an overkill. The basis of the arrest was for a libel case, but they treated my husband like a criminal. We weren't trying to hide, they know that we were going to a hearing," she said in Filipino.

Menorca was on his way to the Court of Appeals (CA), to testify on the petitions for writs of habeas corpus and amparo filed by his relatives last year.

He later agreed to be brought to the Manila Police District (MPD) Station 5, after asking for non-INC policemen to escort him.

Menorca earlier said he was surprised by the arrest, saying he was not even given any notice about a libel complaint against him, which was filed in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.

The warrant for his arrest was issued by acting presiding Judge Alberto Quinto of Regional Trial Court, 12th Judicial Region, Branch 12 in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, on December 21, 2015. Bail was set at P10,000.

But the former minister will be spending a second night in jail after his camp failed to secure the needed documents to post bail. Menorca said they were encountering difficulties securing a barangay certificate.

'Traumatized'

During the press conference, Jinky sobbed while she recalled how her husband's unexpected arrest brought back unwelcome memories of her husband's kidnapping in July last year. (READ: INC minister Lowell Menorca: The story of my kidnapping)

"Yesterday, I really thought they would kidnap us again. I was just defending my husband, especially our child. She was just one year old when we were kidnapped, and now it's not even a year yet and this happened again," Jinky said in Filipino.

Jinky Menorca narrates how she feared for her child when her husband Lowell was arrested. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/tYsyylgA6k — Katerina Francisco (@kaifrancisco) January 21, 2016

The ex-minister's wife narrated how she had panicked and feared for her daughter during the scuffle that ensued when the policemen attempted to serve the arrest warrant.

"Kaya nang buksan ng pulis [ang pintuan sa kotse] sa side ng anak ko, para akong mababaliw. Pinuntahan ko siya, inisip ko kukunin nila ang anak ko," she said.

(When the officer opened the door on my child's side, I thought I'd go crazy. I went to her, I thought that they would take my child.)

While her husband engaged in nearly a two-hour standoff with policemen, Jinky went ahead to the appellate court for the scheduled hearing, which was later reset.

"Pagsakay ko sa sasakyan, nakatulala na lang siya. Isipin niyo po, dalawang taon, nakatulala. Nakita niyang lahat ng pangyayari, umiiyak siya sa loob ng sasakyan," she said.

(When I entered the car, my daughter was just staring into space. Imagine that, for a two-year-old. She saw everything, she was crying inside the car.)

Love for the religion

Despite the difficulties her family faced, Jinky maintained that she still loves the religion she grew up with.

In previous interviews, INC spokesperson Edwil Zabala said excommunicated members may still be able to return to the INC by undergoing a process called “balik loob," which requires ex-members to repent for their sins. 

While Jinky said she hopes to be reconciled with her religion, she said that now is not the time to consider going back.

"Maybe not now. The damage has been done, too much damage. I can't say, but for now we'll keep on fighting for the truth," she said. – Rappler.com