Armed men allegedly sent by Iglesia Ni Cristo forced their way into the residence of the estranged siblings of INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo Tuesday night and seized two vehicles among other things, according to a lawyer fighting the eviction order from the court.
Trixie Angeles, counsel for Angel Manalo and his sister Lolita Manalo-Hemedez, said masked men, assisted by uniformed Quezon City policemen, tried to forcibly drive her clients out of No. 36 Tandang Sora Street in Quezon City.
She claimed that when she asked for a copy of the court’s eviction order, she and her staff were manhandled by the masked men.
“Tumawag clients ko na may nag-aatempt mag-serve ng summon. Sabi ko ipa-serve sa amin kasi kami naman yung counsel. Tapos biglang sinira yung gate nila. Pinanggamit pa ay backhoe,” said Angeles.
Apart from breaking up the gate, the masked men also took the beleaguered Manalo family’s two vehicles which were loaded into a truck.
“Maraming naka-bonnet. Yung iba naka-mask. Ang dami nila, siguro mga 60. Hindi po ako maka-speculate sa motives nila,” added Angeles “Ang mapapakita ko lang, after repeated requests sa kapitan na in-charge ng operation ng station 2 ng QC na nandoon, kahit ilang hingi ko po ng court order wala silang ipinakita.”
Last month, the Metropolitan Trial Court ordered the families of Hemedez and Manalo to vacate the premises they were occupying located at 36 Tandang Sora in Quezon City.
Angeles, however, claimed they still have to get a copy of the court’s writ.
“Hindi pa po sila na nakakakuha ng writ at alam namin yun kasi hindi pa kami nakakapagkomento sa motion nila,” said Angeles.
But in Tuesday night’s commotion, the lawyer lamented the treatment they got from policemen who identified themselves as operatives of Station 2.
“Nagpakilala ako sa kapitan ng station 2. Nandoon po ang pulis, pinanood nila kaming magulpi. Kinuha yung cellphone ng staff ko kasi she was taking pictures of people who were there,” said Angeles “Wala po silang ginawa, pinosasan yung mga kasama ko, pero ang nagposas security guards. Yung mga pulis hindi gumagalaw.”
Angeles said this was the first time in her career as a lawyer that such supposed unlawful force could happen in a public place and in front of authorities.
“Nagugulat lang ako na mayroon ganitong klaseng aksyon na parang impunity na po. Sobrang sa harap po ng mga awtoridad, nakakayanan ng mga tao na manggulpi. Nakakayanang magnakaw. Sa harap ng state authorities. Iba po yung mensahe nun,” added Angeles.
Meantime, Angeles assured they will continue to resort to legal action though she declined to specify any move that has something to do with Tuesday night’s commotion.
“Nagpa tingin na kami sa ospital mga apat kami,” she said.
Meantime, INC released a statement on the matter through its spokesperson, Edwil Zabala.
“We received a favorable order granting our replevin case for INC cars still inside. As far as I know, the RTC handed the order to the sheriff and we cooperated with him. as for the other matter, I’m sure that Atty. Angeles knows the legal remedies available to someone claiming to be involved in such an incident,” said Zabala. (DENNIS PRINCIPE)