INC minister from Sorsogon denies kidnapping

By Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2015 04:26 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2015 12:26 AM

MANILA - A minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo in Sorsogon who ended up in a Dasmarinas, Cavite jail has denied that he is a victim of kidnapping.

In a letter filed with the Dasmarinas City police, Lowell Menorca II denied reports that he was abducted. Menorca said he was in Dasmarinas to gather support, but did not mention why.

"Ako po si Lowell Menorca II, Filipino, may sapat na gulang, ay nagsasaad ng mga susunod:

1. Na hindi ako dinukot ng sinumang tao
2. Na ako ay pumunta sa Cavite para mangalap ng suporta
3. Na kinukumpirma ko ang sinabi ng aking abogado sa telebisyon na hindi ako dinukot t ang isyung ito ay gawa-gawa lang."

Menorca was arrested last July 17 due to grave threat and violation of RA 8294 after authorities confiscated a hand grenade from him. The Dasmariñas police formally filed a case against him on July 20.

In a statement given to police, complainants Delfin Padua and Edwin Nalig said they were waiting for a ride along Aguinaldo Highway when they saw Menorca.

Menorca caught their glance, pulled out a hand grenade and immediately shouted "Ano tinitingin tingin niyo! Papasabugin ko ito sa inyo?"

Nalig allegedly tied up Menorca's hands and called the police.

According to reports, Menorca is among several church members critical of the INC leadership who went missing. Text messages circulating on Thursday alleged that he was about to "tell all" after having been found.

Allen Blair Boy, a lawyer sent by the INC leadership after Menorca sought legal assistance, earlier said he met and spoke with Menorca for the first time on Thursday.

"Base sa pakikipag-usap ko sa kanya kanina, hindi po totoo 'yon. Hindi totoo na na-abduct siya (Based on my conversation with him a while ago, it's not true. It's not true he was abducted)," Boy told reporters.

Boy, however, could not say why Menorca was in Dasmariñas at the time of his alleged crime, when he is a resident of Sorsogon in the Bicol region.

Journalists were not allowed to interview Menorca and take pictures of him.