MANILA — Malacanang defended Justice Secreary de Lima, urging her to continue the investigation of the Department of Justice on the alleged abductions and threat against some members of the Iglesia ni Cristo.
“Kasama sa mandato ng Department of Justice ‘yung pagsisiyasat sa indibidwal o organisasyon na nasasangkot o maaaring sangkot sa posibleng paglabag sa batas,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
(Investigating individuals or organizations involved or might be involved in possible violations of the law is part of the mandate of the Department of Justice.)
Coloma made the statement in an interview over the stat-run Radyo ng Bayan following criticisms raised against the probe.
Law professor and lawyer Harry Roque earlier said that De Lima should not conduct the probe because of the absence of a complainant.
“Secretary De Lima should cease and desist from her witch hunt of Iglesia ni Cristo. In the absence of a complainant, she should not investigate the alleged intramurals within the Iglesia ni Cristo,” Roque said.
He also said that continuing the probe would mean a constitutional violation.
“To persist in investigating the local church would be to violate the constitutional right of freedom of religion which includes both a guarantee of freedom to believe and non-intervention with church affairs,” he said.