MANILA — Unfazed by the recent protests, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima declared yesterday that the preliminary investigation into criminal charges filed against eight leaders of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) will push through.
De Lima said the complaints filed by several expelled INC members will undergo the “regular process.”
De Lima explained that the investigation being conducted “is an occasion where the DOJ performs a ministerial function.”
The complaints were filed by Isaias Samson Jr. and his family and by Lito Fruto.
“Once we receive a complaint, the DOJ has no option but to conduct an investigation,” she said in a statement.
The complaints “will be assigned to prosecutors or panels of prosecutors for preliminary investigation.”
After the assigning, the respondents will then be required to answer the charges raised against them.
They will be asked to submit counter-affidavits in subsequent hearings.
The prosecutors will then determine whether there is a probable cause to warrant the filing of cases in courts. If there is none, the complaints are dismissed.
“No one is exempt from these standard procedures,” De Lima said.