A lawmaker has advised lawyers for embattled former Iglesia ni Cristo (INC or Church of Christ) ministers to bring their case to court, not the media.
House Minority Leader and San Juan City (Metro Manila) Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, in a Facebook post, asked: “Shouldn’t these contending lawyers gag themselves, in the meantime, and argue and win their case in our courts, as they were taught in law school?”
Zamora was valedictorian of his University of the Philippines law class and and topped the 1969 Bar examinations.
He chided the lawyers for ex-INC ministers Lowell Menorca 2nd and Isaias Samson for using the press to level accusations against church officials.
“Shouldn’t all this be done in court rather than in the newspapers?” he further asked, saying both sides would “be given their guaranteed day in court.”
A court battle, Zamora said, would free the parties “from having to fight and win their case first in the arena of public opinion and only later in the courts of the land.”
Lawyers for Menorca and Samson have taken to social media to respond to issues relating to a string of cases that they filed against INC leaders.
Trixie Cruz-Angeles, who has been representing Menorca and Samson in their cases before the Court of Appeals and the Department of Justice (DOJ), wrote recently in her Facebook page, “It would save you a lot of grief if you checked your facts once in a while. Do try to find out when Ahmed and I became government consultants and who exactly appointed us.”
Angeles was referring to a statement made by lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, who said she and co-counsel Ahmedy Paglinawan were drawing salaries from the government.
Paglinawan challenged Topacio in his own Facebook account, asking, “Are you accusing me of illegally receiving money from this government in relation to the INC cases I’m handling?”
“Explain to me like I’m a 9-year-old why I should not haul your [expletive]in court for intriguing against another lawyer in relation to the legitimate exercise of his profession,” he said.