The Court of Appeals (CA) on Tuesday stood by its ruling that dismissed charges lodged against the hierarchy of the Iglesia ni Cristo by a former INC official.
The court cited failure of sacked INC Minister Lowell Menorca 2nd to appear before it.
Menorca’s family earlier filed a writ of amparo and a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of the former church official.
Respondents in the case were INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo and church officers Radel Cortez, Bienvenido Santiago and Rolando Esguerra.
In the ruling, the CA affirmed its April 2016 decision that rejected a plea for protection of Menorca and his family.
A three-page resolution of the CA 7th Division, penned by Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes, denied a motion for reconsideration of petitioners Anthony, brother of Lowell, and sister-in-law Jungko Otsuka.
The appellate court said the movants failed to raise new issues in their motion that shall warrant a reversal of its earlier ruling.
In its April 21, 2016 decision, it ruled that the petitioners failed to prove that threats against the life of Menorca and his helper Abegail Yanson were real or that they came from or made upon the orders of the respondent, INC.
The three-man court said the filing of criminal cases against Menorca for libel and adultery is a legal act and it will be contrary to public policy for the CA to restrain the same in the amparo context.
It argued that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be dismissed since it was proven that the Menorca family can freely receive visitors and “there is no claim that the restraint was illegal or, for that matter involuntary” during their stay in the INC Central Compound on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
Menorca himself admitted that they were able to leave the premises of the compound on October 22, 2015.