A video uploaded on YouTube on Thursday morning indicated Cristina “Tenny” Manalo, the widow of Iglesia ni Cristo’s(INC) former executive minister Eraño “Erdy” Manalo, and their son, Felix Nathaniel “Angel,” Manalo appealing for help to their brethren in INC.
In the video, Angel calls on his Iglesia comrades, stating “our lives are in danger.”
“Mga kapatid po namin sa Iglesia ni Cristo, nananawagan po kami sa inyo dahil nanganganib po ang aming buhay. Sana’y matulungan nyo po kami,” he says into the camera.
He then introduced an audio recording, supposedly of his mother, Tenny, who repeated his appeal for help. There was little detail in the message indirectly alleging harassment and abductions, and sounding the alarm on a crisis in the church’s leadership.
“Ako po si Ka Tenny, biyuda ng Ka Erdy Manalo, tagapamahala pangkalahatan ng Iglesia ni Cristo sa loob ng 46 years. Akoy’ nananawagan sa mga kapatid sa Iglesia na tulungan ninyo kami dahil may panganib sa aming buhay. Saklolohan ninyo ang aking mga anak – si Angel at Lottie at ang kanilang mga kasama,” she said on recording in the video.
Also, in the video she gave a message to his other son Eduardo Manalo who is currently the church’s executive minister hoping that they will be given time to talk with each other.
However, in a press conference, INC General Evangelist Bienvenido Santiago said the INC leadership decided to expel the two from the general membership of the INC after they appeared in a YouTube video since according to Santiago, there is no truth to the claims of Tenny and Angel.
He purported 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.
Moreover, Santiago stressed Eduardo’s succession to the INC hierarchy underwent due process. He also noted that the INC is not a corporation but a religion.
“Dapat malaman ng lahat na ang Iglesia ay hindi isang korporasyon na pangpamilya, ito ay isang relihiyon na ang sinusunod ay ang mga patakaran at mga aral ng Diyos na nakasulat sa Bibliya,” he said.
Santiago also mentioned that their current executive minister, Eduardo Manalo will not let anyone cause trouble to INC, so, though it is painful for him he decided to expel both Tenny and Angel from their association.
Nevertheless, several blogs written by Antonio Ebangelista emphasized that the threat to the Manalo family is true and that there issues happening within their association.
Iglesia, which has an estimated 3 million members in 100 countries, is a highly influential sector in Philippine society that was founded by Felix Manalo on July 27, 1914. Its members are reputed to be highly swayed by political directions from its leaders in times of elections.