INC hierarchy fail to appear at DOJ probe on serious illegal detention row

MANILA — The respondents in the complaint of serious illegal detention filed by former Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Minister Isaias Samson failed to appear at the hearing of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday.

Named respondents in the complaint for serious illegal detention are the entire membership of the Sanggunian, headed by Ka Glicerio Santos, Jr.

The complaint stemmed from the alleged nine days of treatment on Samson and his family as prisoners in their own house.

During the said period, the complainant claimed that they were not allowed to go out of their own house, their lines of telephones and internet were cut off, and the health of his wife was endangered because she has just undergone a heart operation when they were placed under “house arrest” in their townhouse in Tierre Bella, Quezon City.

The complaint alleged that they were even guarded by armed men.

Samson claimed they were only able to escape when they pretended to go to the church.

Only Samson and the members of his family, as well as their legal counsel Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles made it to the hearing at the DOJ on Friday.

The hearing began at past 2 p.m., however, as the respondents have not yet arrived by then, the DOJ panel of prosecutors decided to suspend the proceedings and wait for another 10 minutes in the hope that anybody from the respondents would still appear.

When the hearing resumed, nobody from the respondents appeared.

Hence, Samson and his family personally executed their complaint-affidavit before the panel of prosecutors composed of Assistant State Prosecutors Mark Estepa and Olivia Torrevilla.

Meanwhile, the complaint of arbitrary detention filed by Dr. Jose Norilito Fruto against some INC officials was also heard by the same panel of prosecutors.

The case stemmed from the alleged illegal arrest made against Fruto in Caloocan City last July 14.

The panel of prosecutors decided to declare both cases as “submitted for resolution”. Perfecto T. Raymundo/PNA