Investigators from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) were once again denied entry to a section of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) compound in Quezon City last Monday by complainants who had sought help from the agency.
CHR-National Capital Region Special Investigator Jun Nalangan, who led a team of CHR personnel, on Thursday expressed both frustration and confusion over lack of cooperation from expelled INC members Angel Manalo and Lottie Manalo-Hemedez.
Nalangan said Manalo and Hemedez themselves called the agency for assistance but have repeatedly refused to see CHR personnel who seek to verify claims of harassment.
The CHR, he added, had already made five previous attempts to enter 36 Tandang Sora on Commonwealth Avenue, where the former INC members and their families are staying.
Manalo and Hemedez have repeatedly claimed that they were being harassed by the INC leadership for exposing irregularities within the religious organization.
The church has sought the ejectment of the two complainants, accusing them of illegally occupying INC property after losing their INC membership.
The complainants have disputed INC’s ownership by filing a falsification case on the title to the property but the case has since been dismissed for lack of evidence by the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.
Nalangan denied earlier reports that Manalo and Hemedez were being deprived of food, water and essential supplies.
The two had alleged that deliveries of basic necessities were being screened and restricted by INC security personnel.