Manalo siblings to face firearms raps

ABOUT 27 persons, including the two siblings of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, will face charges of illegal possession of firearms, said Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Guillermo Eleazar.

Expelled INC members Felix Nathaniel "Ka Angel" Manalo and Lolita Manalo-Hemedez were among the persons arrested on Thursday from their home within the INC compound in Tandang Sora.

“Most likely 27 ‘yung pinaka-maraming pwede natin ma-filean ng kaso including Ka Angel dahil sila ang subject ng ating search warrant,” he said.

Eleazar said five will be released, including the two minors who will be turned over to their families or to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

“Yung lima kasi dalawa ang minor, ‘yung tatlo naman hindi talaga sila kasama sa bahay, sinama lang for their safety,” said Eleazar.

On Thursday, 32 persons were arrested from the INC compound after someone from the group allegedly fired upon the authorities who were then serving search warrant for the alleged armory in the area.

Eleazar said the issuance of the search warrant also stemmed from an indiscriminate firing in the area last February 27, where two security guard of the compound got injured.

Authorities recovered one M16 rifle, one shotgun, one rifle grenade, and one caliber .40 pistol in the compound.

Eleazar said PO2 Henry Escular and PO3 Joner Adasan of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team were injured after the incident. Escular is in critical condition as his internal organs were affected by the gun shots he obtained from the incident.

However, he said they are yet to establish who fired the shots against the operatives.

“Definitely sa kanila galing ‘yung (putok ng baril),” said Eleazar.

He said the 27 persons will remain at the QCPD headquarters in Camp Karingal.

For his part, Ka Angel denied the allegations, saying they are being pressured by the INC leadership to vacate the area as they are no longer members of the religious group.

In 2015, Ka Angel and his sister Lolita were expelled from the religious group after the latter came in public asking for help as he was receiving threats from the INC leaders. (SunStar Philippines)
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