Expelled minister’s camp fears whitewashing in INC case

By , on September 1, 2015

The 7,000 seater Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple in Quezon City (Photo from Wikipedia/JGCanlas)
The 7,000 seater Iglesia ni Cristo Central Temple in Quezon City (Photo from Wikipedia)

MANILA – President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima remained mum on the government’s alleged agreement with the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) leaders on Monday.

But still with no prosecutor assigned in the criminal charges against INC’s Sanggunian, the church’s highest administrative council, expelled minister Isaias Samson Jr. feared that there may be a ‘whitewash’ in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) preliminary investigation on his complaint. His camp then urged the President and De Lima to disclose the details of the purported deal.

“What is the nature of this agreement? What are its conditions and terms? It is our client who had unintentionally set off these events by filing his case, yet somehow we have not been included in this so-called agreement. Assuming of course there is one,” Samson’s lawyers, Trixie Cruz-Angeles and Ahmed Paglinawan said in a statement.

“There are two things you need to do… speaking as part of the body you call your bosses. First is to be transparent with your agreement. Tell us whether or not you’ve sold our client down the river or tell us if you haven’t. But you need to disclose this to us. A criminal case is not a political pawn. The law provides that it cannot be compromised. The president can grant pardons and issue clemency and amnesty. But you do not have the power to refuse prosecution,” they added.

Cruz-Angeles and Paglinawan also demanded reassurance from the government that their complainant’s case would undergo a due process.

“You must guarantee our client a fair hearing at preliminary investigation. The fear now is that given the so-called agreement, a finding of ‘no probable cause’ to make this nightmare go away for the INC’s Sanggunian is a very real possibility,” they said.

Samson, his wife Myrna Dionela and son Isaias Jr. earlier filed a complaint against the INC council for serious illegal detention, harassment, grave threats and coercion