Iglesia ni Cristo sues another expelled minister for libel
MANILA, Philippines – The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has filed libel complaints against another expelled minister, who earlier accused the church's council members of corruption and the alleged abduction of other ministers.
Through lawyer Serafin Cuevas Jr, the INC filed two separate complaints of libel against Eliodoro "Joy" Yuson before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office on Friday, July 31.
Yuson, a former administrative coordinator of INC's TV arm, had earlier told media that the wife and child of "abducted" minister Lowell Menorca II were missing.
Menorca later denied this in an INC-run television show, but some INC members claimed Menorca was only forced to say this because he was under duress.
In an interview on Eagle News, Cuevas said that Yuson's claims of "kidnapped" and "tortured" ministers were all lies.
"Hindi lang walang matibay na ebidensya, walang ebidensya talaga. Wala siyang nalalaman tungkol sa mga bagay na ito," he said. (It's not that he has no strong evidence, but that he has no evidence at all. He knows nothing about this.)
The lawyer added that Yuson's remarks were all part of an alleged orchestrated plan to divide the influential church, which is facing its worst crisis in decades.
The INC, through its spokesman Brother Edwil Zabala, earlier denied allegations of corruption within the 101-year-old church.
Zabala also said that the INC may file charges against its critics, and dared them to present evidence to back up their allegations.
On July 24, the INC filed a libel complaint against former minister Isaias Samson for claiming that INC officials placed him under house arrest in his townhouse in Quezon City.
His case has been raffled off to Assistant City Prosecutor Melissa Oco-Dictado.
Meanwhile, Assistant City Prosecutors Bienvenido Ocampo and Raniel Cruz will be handling the cases against Yuson.
Both Samson and Yuson have been expelled from the church, along with the mother and brother of INC leader Eduardo Manalo.
Angel Manalo, Eduardo's younger brother, earlier accused the sanggunian (council) of corruption and of manipulating his elder brother.
In a YouTube video, he and his mother Tenny earlier claimed that their lives were in danger from senior members of the church.
Their video, posted two weeks ago, prompted some INC members to speak out on the alleged corruption and leadership controversies within the church. – Rappler.com