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Can anyone defy the INC?

The religious sect Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is at the center of controversy… once again.

Former INC minister Lowell Menorca II was unable to hold back his tears in a press conference last Sunday as he related how he was supposedly interrogated, threatened and tortured on suspicion that he was blogger “Antonio Ebanghelista”, who exposed the alleged corrupt activities inside the INC.

He also recanted an earlier statement denying that he, his wife Jinky and their daughter were being held against their will by INC officials.

The early interview, which came out in July and was allegedly “scripted” according to Menorca, was the proof that INC officials were holding on to in denying claims that some ministers have been kidnapped and detained.

What was shocking in Menorca’s revelation was his claim that the INC had him abducted in Bulan, Sorsogon in July by armed men led by a former Quezon City (QC) police chief.

Worse, Menorca said, QC policemen hurled a grenade into the car he was in near a cemetery in Dasmariñas, Cavite which fortunately, failed to go off.

Some Dasmariñas policemen allegedly sent to kill him took pity and charged him instead with illegal possession of an explosive — the grenade that turned out to be a dud. Days later, he was taken to the INC Central Temple in Diliman, QC.

Menorca was rescued by NBI agents last October 21 at a house in Fairview, QC, where he was supposedly transferred by INC officials after his brother and sister-in-law sought help from the Supreme Court.

With all these revelations, Director-General Ricardo Marquez, Philippine National Police Chief, ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to conduct an investigation into Menorca’s claims. “If somebody violates the law, the PNP will act accordingly,” said Marquez.

Some observers are worried if it will prosper since Menorca involved some policemen in his allegations. Furthermore, there had been earlier rumors that the INC lobbied for Marquez to be given the top post in the PNP.

Besides, the INC is well entrenched in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. The question is, can anyone defy this all-powerful sect?

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