INC group asking for 'Duterte intervention' in church crisis?
A group of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) members asked President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene in the ongoing crisis rocking the influential 102-year-old church.
In an open letter posted on Facebook and published in a local tabloid on Wednesday, August 17, the INC Defenders Worldwide said it hopes that Duterte would help them restore the church to its "former honorable administration."
"Before election day came, our hearts decided upon you because we saw your sincerity in honest governance," the group wrote. "This is also what we are striving for, that the church will be restored to its former honorable administration."
The group called out the "human rights violations" of the church leadership, stating that Lottie Manalo-Hemedez and Angel Manalo, the estranged siblings of INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo, were subjected to harassment as they continue to stake their claim to the property located at 36 Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
The Manalo siblings were expelled from the INC after allegations of corruption were exposed. They have remained inside their compound in Quezon City while claiming harassment from the church led by their estranged brother, Eduardo.
Aside from being surrounded by armed security personnel, a wall was also built to enclose the compound. The Manalo siblings have also been deprived of water and electricity, after unpaid bills amounted to more than P1 million.
A court earlier ordered the Manalos to "immediately vacate" the property. However, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC RTC) Branch 43 later turned down the petition for writ of execution filed by the INC pending an appeal.
INC Defenders Worldwide hopes that Duterte will not be fazed by statements that the ongoing crisis is an "internal problem" and others need not interfere.
"We do not believe that a president with good character like you, compassionate to those who are powerless and fearless for the upright, will be intimidated into submission by the leaders of the church to follow their crooked ways and continue their oppression towards the ministers and members who expose their corruption," the group said.
Duterte, who got more than 16 million votes during the May 9 elections, was endorsed by the INC along with former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, who ran for vice president.
INC Defenders Worldwide reminded Duterte that they "were the ones who chose you and voted for you, not the current leaders of the church today."
"We are fully confident that your government will be fair and just in your response to all the problems of Filipino citizens as you have declared you will not tolerate wrongdoing and wickedness because you were elected to serve all and not only one," the group emphasized.
Will Duterte heed their call? – Rappler.com
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