Tenny, Angel Manalo not held hostage, police say

by Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 24 2015 01:15 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2015 11:26 AM

MANILA -- No one is being held hostage inside the Manalo house in Tandang Sora, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director Joel Pagdilao said late Thursday night.

Pagdilao, who arrived in the area around 11 p.m., said he has spoken to Felix Nathaniel "Angel" Manalo.

Manalo allegedly told him that they are safe and are not being held against their will.

He said that according to Angel, he, his family, and his siblings' Lottie and Beth's families, are safe and are in good condition.

He also allegedly denied being either abducted or held against their will.

Although he wanted to investigate the situation further, Pagdilao said they cannot go further as Angel refused to allow police come inside the house.

"Internal matter ito. We do not meddle with private affairs," Pagdilao said.

Iglesia ni Cristo spokesman Edwil Zabala said they are allowing the police to enter the premises of the compound, as it is a property of INC.

He added, however, that one of the houses has been assigned to the family of the late Eraño's Manalo -- father of Angel -- and that they have no control over the gate and door of said house.

"Wala kaming control sa gate, wala kaming control sa pintuan, ang housing unit ay nakaassign sa mga naitiwalag," Zabala said.

Zabala denied allegations of corruption and abduction against the INC leaders, challenging Angel and his mother Tenny to tell the truth.

"Kung sila po ay held against their will, ito na po ang pagkakataon para sila ay humingi ng tulong," he added.

Aside from Pagdilao, Quezon City police station 3 commander Supt. Ariel Capocao and Mayor Herbert Bautista also went to the scene to monitor the situation.

BISTEK: IT'S AN INTERNAL MATTER

Bautista said the situation is an internal matter that should be dealt with by members of the INC.

"It's an internal matter. We're just here to make sure everything is fine, no harassment, nothing's happening...As far as I'm concerned, reading through the blog and all the other accounts, this is an internal matter between, and among, and within, the Iglesia ni Cristo," Bautista explained.

Bautista said police will remain on the scene to monitor the situation and to ensure peace and order.

Angel and his mother, Tenny, the widow of Iglesia ni Cristo's (INC) former executive minister Erano Manalo, have been expelled from the general membership of the INC after they appeared in a YouTube video claiming their lives are in danger and that some ministers have allegedly been abducted.

INC General Evangelist Bienvenido Santiago alleged the two are just trying to gain sympathy from their members so they can interfere in the administration of INC affairs. He said the two violated the INC's teachings and regulations.

"Ang basa namin doon sa ipinahayag nila kagabi sa YouTube ay ibig lamang nilang makakuha ng mga tao na magsisimpatya sa kanila para nang sa ganun ay makuha nila yung talagang gusto nila na mapakialaman ang pamamahala sa Iglesia," said Santiago.