ANSWERING “FALLEN ANGELS”
Point-by-point discussion answering those opposing
the Church Administration
MENORCA CROSS EXAMINED AT CA HEARING: ADMITTED NO OVERT AND DIRECT THREAT
TO HIS LIFE
His petitions for a writ of amparo and a writ of habeas corpus are in danger of being junked by the Court of Appeals
LAST October, 2015, Lowell Menorca II filed a “writ of amparo” against the officials of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ). What is “writ of amparo”? The “writ of amparo” is a remedy for the protection of right to life, liberty and personal security:
“The 1987 Philippine Constitution, in Article VIII, Sec.5 (5) thereof, vests the power to the Philippine Supreme Court to "promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights..." This served as the legal basis for the formulation of the Philippine writ of amparo. Features of the Philippine Writ of Amparo
“As can be gleaned from the definition thereof, the writ is a remedy for the protection of right to life, liberty and personal security. It is not available as a remedy for the protection of property right although in some cases, property right is so intertwined with right to liberty or security thus, the remedy can still be used. The writ can be availed of by anybody but the Rule provides for a strict order of preference, non-compliance therewith can be fatal to the granting of the writ by the courts....” [SOURCE: http://www.studymode.com/essays/Philippine-Writ-Of-Amparo-Definition-And-763231.html]
Thus, for a person to be given by the court a “writ of amparo” there must be a direct threat to his life. If “writ of amparo” is a “a remedy for the protection of right to life, liberty and personal security”, so how can the court give a “writ of amparo” to a person if there is no direct threat to his life, liberty and personal security.
Last January 26, 2016, Lowell Menorca II attended the CA hearing regarding his request for “writ of amparo.” He was cross examined by INC lawyer, Atty. Rogelio Vinluan. In the said cross examination, Menorca admitted the following:
“The Court of Appeals (CA) allowed the cross examination of former Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) minister Lowell Menorca during the resumption of the hearing on the petition for Writ of Amparo he filed against some leaders of the religious group.
“Cross-examined by INC lawyer Rogelio Vinluan, Menorca told the CA that there was no overt and direct threat to his life and those of the members of his family from church officials.” [“CA allows cross examination of former INC minister Menorca” Manila Bulletin online. http://www.mb.com.ph/ca-allows-cross-examination-of-former-inc-minister-menorca/]
During the cross examination, Menorca admitted that “there was no overt and direct to his life and those of the members of his family from church officials.” However, realizing that this weaken his position for his request of “writ of amparo”, Menorca immediately said:
"Menorca also said: 'We were restrained, heavily-guarded, constantly interrogated. But harm na tututukan ng kutsilyo, wala. Pero yung wala kaming kalayaan, yun ang threat sa amin.” [Ibid.]
In response to this, the INC lawyer pointed out to the justices of CA 7th division that there were several instances when Menorca was able to go shopping and visit the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“On the alleged physical restraint, Vinluan pointed out to the CA several instances when Menorca was able to go shopping and visit the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Photographs of Menorca’s family inside the INC’s Central compound in Quezon City were also shown to the CA justices. Most of the photographs showed the members of the Menorca family smiling.” [Ibid,]
Menorca admitted that it is true he went shopping and visited the Philippine Arena in several occasions. Also, photographs of Menorca’s family inside the INC Central Office compound in Quezon City were shown to the justices showing the members of the Menorca family “smiling.”
Another photo presented in the hearing is the one that was shot during the birthday celebration of Menorca’s wife, Jinky, where Menorca was with 21 visitors inside the compound.
The INC lawyer also shown several requests made by Menorca’s camp while in the custody of INC, including being allowed to watch cable television and to go to a gym.
Because he admitted during the cross examination that there was no overt and direct threat to his life, a reporter of Manila Times said in his news report the following:
“Petitions for a writ of amparo and a writ of habeas corpus filed by expelled Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Chuch of Christ) member Lowell Menorca are in danger of being junked by the Court of Appeals (CA).
“This loomed after Menorca admitted in open court that there is no overt and direct threats from church officials to physically harm him and his family.” [“Expelled minister: No direct threats from INC” by Jomar Canlas, Manila Times Online. http://www.manilatimes.net/expelled-minister-no-direct-threats-from-inc/241726/]
Menorca was only cross examined last January 26. He should have been subjected to cross-examination a week earlier, but while on his way to the court, he was arrested in Manila by members of the Manila Police District by virtue of warrants of arrest issued by courts in Marawi City and Lanao del Norte.
Thus, the result of the cross examination of Menorca only shows that INC has nothing to do with Menorca’s arrest and there is no truth in the allegation of Menorca’s camp that INC made Menorca arrested last week to prevent him to attend the hearing and be cross examined.
INC lawyers wanted Menorca to be cross examined all along. As we have seen, during the cross examination, Menorca admitted that there was no overt and direct threat to his life, thus “Petitions for a writ of amparo and a writ of habeas corpus filed by expelled Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Chuch of Christ) member Lowell Menorca are in danger of being junked by the Court of Appeals (CA).”
So, who benefited from the arrest of Lowell Menorca II last week? Menorca himself, because of this his cross examination was delayed for a week – they knew that INC lawyers were fully prepared to grill Menorca. As we have seen, when the cross examination was resumed, the result was not in favor of Menorca, but instead his petition for “writ of amparo” was in danger of being junked after he admitted in open court that there is no overt and direct threats from church officials to physically harm him and his family.