MANILA – Isaias Samson Jr., an expelled minister of Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), called on members and ministers of the politically influential Christian group to speak up about the ills being committed by some in the church's hierarchy.
In a series of videos posted on the Facebook account of ''Sher Lock'', Samson called on ministers and members of the century-old group not to be afraid and instead speak up about alleged anomalies being committed by some of the church's leaders.
''Alam ko ang inyong damdamin at alam niyo rin ang aking damdamin. Alam niyo na ang aking mga inihayag ay katotohanan lamang, sapagkat iyan din ang laging namumutawi sa inyong mga labi,'' he said in a four-minute video.
''Alam niyo ang daing ng mga kapatid. Diyan lamang sa Central Office, ang mga naglilingkod dyan ay laging mayroong dinadaing. Bigat na bigat na sila sa mga pinagagawa sa kanila, pero bakit nagsasawalang kibo pa rin kayo?"
Samson, the former ''Pasugo'' editor-in-chief and a second-generation minister, surfaced last Thursday and said he and his family were barred by powerful INC officials from leaving their home last July 16.
Samson urged the members of the church to not be afraid of the powerful people in the Church and be more afraid of God.
"Nagsasalita tayong mahal natin ang Iglesia, na gusto natin na ang Iglesia ay mabalik sa matuwid na daan, sa kabanalan, pero bakit wala kayong ginagawang aksyon? Patunayan niyo sa Diyos na mga minitsro nga kayo."
''Alam niyo na iyan ay damdamin niyo kaya lang di niyo magawa dahil sa takot, nai-intimidate kayo, pero kung kayo ay takot sa tao, lalo tayong matakot sa Diyos."
Samson called on the INC faithful to unite if they want to save the church and themselves from the last judgment.
''Sana ipakita na ninyo, ilabas na ninyo, patunayan na ninyo iyung mga katiwalian na inyong nakikita. Kapag tayo ay nagsama-sama, doon lang mahahayag, pero kapag pinaghari natin ang takot ay walang mangyayari sa Iglesia,'' he said.
''Magtutuloy-tuloy na ito sa kasamaan at baka ilan lang ang matira na maligtas. Baka pati tayo hindi maligtas sapagkat hindi natin ginawa ang ating tungkulin. Mga kapatid, mga kapwa ko ministro at manggagawa, maawa kayo sa Iglesia."
'APPLE OF THE EYE'
In another video, Samson accused INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr. of being behind some of the corrupt practices in the church, but is the ''apple of the eye'' of the INC leadership.
Samson appealed to INC general evangelist Bienvenido Santiago and spokesperson Edwil Zabala to defend God and the truth instead of defending someone like Santos.
He said he wonders why Santiago and Zabala are not speaking up about the supposed anomalies in the church, perpetrated by Santos.
''Alam niyo na sa ating mga pag-uusap, kahit noon, ay kayo rin ang bumabanggit ng mga katiwalian na ginagawa ni kapatid na Glicerio Santos Jr. Mayroon ka pa ngang termino, kapatid na Bien, na sinasabi mo sa akin na wala tayong magagawa sapagkat siya ang 'apple of the eye' ngayon ng namamahala kaya kahit anong sabihin natin ay hindi pakikinggan,'' he said, addressing Santiago and Zabala.
''Si Kapatid na Edwil, nagkakabiruan tayo, pero sa biro nalalaman mo kung ano ang mga nasasabi sa biro at kung ano ang mga nababanggit na mga bagay na nangyayari. Sana kung kayo ay magsasalita pa, maging spokesperson kayo ng Diyos at hindi ng taong inyong ipinagtatanggol."
Samson added that the truth will soon be revealed, and it will be revealed by God himself.
''Tandaan ninyo, iyung katiwalian hindi ito maikakaila, lilitaw at lilitaw iyan… Hindi naitatago ang lihim, iyan ay lilitaw, ihahayag iyan ng panginoong Diyos,'' he said.
INC IN CRISIS
Cracks in the powerful century-old indigenous Christian group were revealed when relatives of INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo called for help and alleged rampant corruption and high-living within the religious group.
Cristina "Tenny" and Felix Nathaniel “Angel”, Eduardo's mother and younger brother, last Thursday said their lives were in danger and that some of the INC's ministers critical of the current INC leadership had been abducted and were being held against their will.
The INC decided to expel Tenny, Angel after their YouTube video made the rounds online.
Angel's siblings, Lolita ''Lottie'' Manalo-Hernandez and Marco Eraño Villanueva Manalo, were also reportedly expelled from the group.
On the same day members of the Manalo family were expelled from INC, messages seeking help were also seen posted from a window of the house of the Manalo family in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.
Angel eventually surfaced early Friday and said he was not being held hostage, and that the handwritten messages flashed on the window were just posted by a child who was ''just kidding."
Angel, nonetheless, insisted that the INC is now suffering from massive corruption. He cited the ''unnecessary'' construction of the US$200 million Philippine Arena in Bulacan as an example. He said the group's money should be spent for the construction of INC chapels instead.
The Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation have launched a probe into allegations of kidnapping of at least 9 INC ministers critical of the Sanggunian (Council), composed of the most powerful INC officials closest to Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo, who succeeded his father Eraño after the latter's death in 2009 following a 46-year reign.
Zabala has denied all allegations of corruption by Angel, Samson, and other former ministers and members of the INC.
Zabala and Santiago had said the ongoing row is only an attempt by some group to seize control of the affairs of the church.