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More guns, explosives found in INC compound

Police seized more than 100 firearms and explosives when they searched the compound of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) in Quezon City.

The guns and bombs, of various calibers and type, were collected after the nine-hour operation conducted by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) in an abandoned building inside the INC-owned lot at No. 36 Tandang Sora Avenue in Barangay Culiat.

QCPD director Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar said the operation stemmed from the request of INC officials to clear the area.

Last March 2, police raided the building occupied by siblings Angel Manalo and Lottie Manalo-Hemedez and other expelled INC members.

He said the INC reported to the Talipapa Police Station (PS-3) that there were still assorted firearms, ammunition and explosives inside one of the abandoned buildings, some 50 to 70 meters away from the raided building where six high-powered firearms were earlier discovered.

Police said the church officials claimed that the building was previously occupied by Hemedez.

A team from the PS-3, accompanied by Barangay Culiat officials, church representatives and INC-run broadcast company Net25, went to said building around 3 p.m. Wednesday. The operation ended around 12:35 a.m. yesterday.

The QCPD presented to media the collected firearms and explosives that include 56 long firearms, 18 short firearms, 27 hand grenades, and 62 riffle grenades.

They also showed a total of 17,943 live ammunition for assorted calibers.

The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has recommended no bail for Angel, brother of INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, in connection with the illegal possession of firearms charges filed by the police.
(Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola, Chito Chavez)