Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) faces ministerial hostage issue, corruption scandal

MANILA, Philippines - The third largest religious denomination in the Philippines Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) faces controversies on the alleged mass kidnapping of ministers including the members of the founding Manalo family in order to censure knowledge of a corruption scandal surrounding the INC's chief auditor, Glicerio B. "Jun" Santos.

schism inside iglesia ni cristo

The allegations started on Wednesday as Felix Nathaniel "Angel" Manalo, the brother of Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo and their mother, Cristina "Tenny" Manalo, the widow of former executive minister Eraño Manalo uploaded a video to YouTube saying that the INC administration had threatened their life. The video became viral online on Thursday and has triggered the media to tackle the so called 'silent issues' of INC.

On Thursday, INC expelled Angel Manalo and Tenny Manalo for what they have described as sowing disunity in the church and a power grab as announced by its General Evangelist Bienvenido Santiago.

According to Santiago, there is no truth to the claims of Tenny and Angel.

"Yung lumabas sa YouTube kagabi na pahayag ni Angel Manalo at ng kanyang ina na nananawagan sa mga kaanib sa Iglesia para sila ay tulungan dahil diumano ay nanganganib ang kanilang buhay at meron pang alegasyon na meron daw mga dinukot na mga ministro na wari'y ibig na palabasin na may kinalaman ang Iglesia, ay wala pong katotohanan. Hindi po totoo yun," he said.

Angel Manalo speaks up on INC issue

'Nasira na ang doktrina ng Iglesia ni Cristo,' Angel Manalo said on Friday morning claiming rampant corruption in the influential religious organization.

"Binabago nila ang aral eh. Sa panahon po ng pamamahala ng kapatid na Felix Y. Manalo, hanggang sa panahon ng kapatid na Erano Manalo, wala tayong nakikitang anomalya," he told reporters who gathered outside the Manalo home in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

"Pero sa panahon ngayon, mas napakarami nang anomalya," he said. "Mahal po namin ang aming kapatid. Kaya lang ang nagiging problema po natin, iyung nasa paligid niya."

Angel said they are receiving threats from the INC Sanggunian or the council of the advisers.

He also said that the church funds are being spent on other projects like Philippine Arena in Bulacan instead of building churches.

Philippine Arena

QCPD chief: No hostage taking at Manalo residence

Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao, director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) on Thursday night gave assurance that there's no hostage taking at the house of the late Eraño Manalo contrary to the flashed signs held by unidentified individual, one of them reading: "Tulong hostage kami [Help we're being held hostage].

Former ‘Pasugo’ editor also expelled from INC

Isaias Samson Jr., the former editor of the church's official publication "Pasugo," and his family were also expelled from the Iglesia Ni Cristo as announced on Friday.

INC's spokesperson Edwil Zabala said the main reason of expulsion is due to refusal to submit to the authority of the church. Samson claimed he was illegally detained by the Sanggunian, said corruption allegedly thrives in the church.

Updates on Abducted and Expelled Ministers

Before the crisis on INC became controversial, a blogsite titled "Iglesia Ni Cristo – Silent No More" owned by Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista known as 'Deep Throat' of INC was already sharing news updates on alleged abduction of ministers.

As the blog claimed, 9 ministers were abducted including Bro. Nolan Olarte from Cebu, Bro. Boyet Menorca from Sorsogon and Bro. Joven Sepillo of Tacloban.

"Families of abducted ministers are under strict orders to keep their mouths shut or more terrible fate will befall their abducted minister family member," Ebangelista wrote.

"Some brethren have reported seeing Bros. Arnel Tumanan and Jun Samson at the worship service in Templo yesterday, after we’ve reported Bro. Jun’s expulsion and the two of them being under house arrest. DON’T BE FOOLED, brethren. This is a ruse, a trick. Bros. Arnel and Jun were under strict instructions to act normal, as though it were business as usual, so that the brethren would not suspect anything is amiss. They were being watched the whole time. They will even put them on TV if necessary to deceive you. The Sanggunian wants to make me out to be a liar, after I’ve reported on this blog their true situation," Ebangelista added.

Ebangelista seek assistance from the government and media to spread the truth on the alleged corruption inside and outside INC.

"To those in government who still have a conscience and to members of the press who still respect their obligation to report the truth, free of censorship, I pose this challenge. Help us in our fight for justice. Help us expose these outright violation of human rights. Help us stop these heinous acts. Help us reveal the corruption inside and outside the Iglesia ni Cristo. Insist on a true separation of Church and State."

“They tried to bury us…they didn’t know we were seeds,” he concluded.

DOJ orders probe into Iglesia ni Cristo 'abduction'

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an investigation on the alleged abduction of some ministers of INC.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima voiced out the need to find out if there are criminal offenses committed and if these are still being committed.

"Some of the things that we have seen or we have heard those that have been uploaded in YouTube and some of the reports that have been circulated, we should not ignore those," de Lima said in a radio interview.

History of Iglesia Ni Cristo

INC, an international Christian denomination religion was founded in 1914 by Felix Manalo who was baptized as Roman Catholic and became dissatisfied with the Catholic theology.

Felix Manalo is said to be the restorer of the church of Christ, and "God's last messenger" (sugo in Tagalog).

In 2010, the Philippine census by the National Statistics Office found that 2.45 percent of the population in the Philippines are affiliated with the Iglesia ni Cristo, making it the third largest religious denomination in the Philippines after the Roman Catholic Church (80.6%) and Islam (5.6%), respectively.

The INC will celebrate its 101st founding anniversary on Monday, July 27, 2015 at the Philippine Arena and Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Previous Post Next Post