The criminal complaints and petitions filed against leaders of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) at the Department of Justice and Court of Appeals may eventually be dismissed for being infirm, lawyers said.
Sources at the Court of Appeals said the petition for writs of habeas corpus and amparo may be junked because of the inconsistencies that emerged during the hearing of the case.
The petitions were filed in behalf of former INC minister Lowell Menorca, who claimed that he and his family were abducted and detained inside the INC compound in Quezon City.
However, a court insider said the petition for habeas corpus may be deemed moot since Menorca is no longer in the custody of the INC. The source said the testimony of Menorca’s wife that they were free to go to “various places” at the time of their claimed abduction will likely weaken the case.
Logbooks presented before the court also showed that the Menorcas were allowed to accept visitors and friends inside their house in the INC compound.
Sigfrid Fortun also said the complaints at the Justice department will likely be junked.
“The case against the INC leadership is weak and will most likely be dismissed,” the lawyer said.
Fortun earlier said the complaint of “harassment, illegal detention, threats and coercion” filed by ex- minister Isaias Samson suffered from glaring legal infirmities.
He explained that the complaint failed “to pinpoint the ultimate facts that establish probable cause for the criminal offenses Mr. Samson was complaining about. That’s what’s vital for their case to prosper.”
The lawyer added that there were numerous allegations regarding the taking of cellphones and computers from Samson and his family members but no theft or robbery charges were filed.
There were likewise allegations of INC officials misappropriating money but there wasn’t any criminal complaint for estafa, Fortun added.
“There was a complaint for harassment,’ which is not even defined as a crime in the Revised Penal Code,” he stressed.
“If I noticed these issues, then no doubt the lawyers prosecutors in the DOJ have likewise spotted them as well—and they will have no choice but to dismiss the case,” he said.
JOMAR CANLAS AND NELSON S. BADILLA