INC case a litmus test for government
A front-page story of the Nov. 7 issue of the Inquirer said it all: “Accused INC officials snub DOJ hearings.”
What is wrong with that picture? Hubris. And a perverse sense of entitlement. It must really have gone to the heads of Iglesia ni Cristo leaders that they enjoy immunity from government prosecution for any crime! Where did that come from? Obviously from the power they wield to decisively influence the outcome of any political exercise in this country. Politicians, including presidential wannabes, follow the beeline to the INC palace to finagle their blessings. Even former chief justice Renato Corona groveled for their “assistance” at the height of his impeachment trial.
Their repeated subpoenas brazenly ignored, the Department of Justice prosecutors are said to have considered the cases for serious illegal detention “submitted for resolution”—meaning, ordinarily, a finding of “probable cause” may be forthcoming solely on the basis of the testimonial and/or documentary evidence of the complainants (expelled members); meaning, ordinarily, any time soon, charges may be filed in court for such nonbailable crimes; meaning, ordinarily, the executives of that religious group may be thrown in jail indefinitely.
We say “may” because one can never underestimate what stranglehold the INC has on the jugulars of decision-makers in this country.
That “snub” portends a grim scenario that cannot be good for the image of our justice system. If INC leaders could so easily create chaos by deploying their mindless members to camp out in our streets in protest against just a DOJ investigation of those illegal detention charges, imagine how much more havoc they can wreak if warrants for their arrest are issued without bail!
If truth be told, the government is dealing with quintessential “spoiled brats” who seem to respect no authority greater than the “big boss” of their own “independent republic”! This is worth observing as a litmus test of the government’s ability to apply the law to all without fear or favor!
—GABRIELLE MICHELLE M. AGUILLERA, [email protected]