Editorial unfair to INC, police and judiciary?
This is a reaction to the Jan. 22 editorial (“The Iglesia’s long arm?”). I would like to stress: Lowell Menorca was never a minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo; so it was wrong to refer to him as an “ex-minister.” He was an evangelical worker, a manggagawa in our term.
Secondly, the editorial did not mention the real reason Menorca was issued the warrants of arrest. Instead, the editorial put the INC leadership in a bad light by insinuating that it was behind his arrest.
It was not the INC but the long arm of the law that caught up with Menorca. Members of the Society of Communicators and Networkers (SCAN) had filed cases against him because Menorca made baseless and libelous statements against SCAN.
Menorca accused SCAN as the INC’s death squad. If true, who did it kill? And what does Menorca have to prove that it was the INC leadership which ordered the killings he alleged SCAN did? None! It’s just in Menorca’s swelling head.
SCAN has never been involved in illegal activities. “Saving lives is our priority” is the motto of this society whose members risk their lives during disasters and other emergencies to rescue people in danger.
After he was released on bail, Menorca asked for understanding and forgiveness from the SCAN members who sued him. He appealed to them to drop the cases. But it is doubtful that the people he libeled will take that as a retraction or an apology because he made a threatening statement as soon as he had asked them to drop the case. He said if they didn’t, he would countersue.
Some members of the media see it very irregular that a libel case was filed against Menorca in the provinces. What’s irregular with that? The SCAN members filed their complaints against Menorca in the provinces because they live there. Are these journalists suggesting that those who sued Menorca should have filed their complaint in Metro Manila so that he wouldn’t be inconvenienced?
Some columnists even questioned the judges who issued the arrest warrants. One of them even contemptuously asked, “And the judges ordering the arrest of Menorca —didn’t they have anything better to do?”
Issuing the arrest warrant is important in certain legal procedure—for justice to take its course. What the judges did was the right thing to do.
With the way some newspaper, radio and TV networks have been reporting Menorca’s arrest, the judiciary and the law enforcement of the country are being cast in a bad light. Some news stories and commentaries even insinuated that the courts and police were coerced into issuing and serving the arrest warrants. This baseless insinuation is unfair to the authorities who merely performed their duty.
The editorial stated that Menorca’s arrest is proof that his life is in real danger. But wasn’t it the arresting police who were hurt? Is the editorial insinuating that the police are a threat to Menorca? That’s very unfair to the men and women of the Philippine National Police.
The editorial also took a swipe at the statement of INC spokesperson Brother Edwil Zabala, saying his statement was “curiously phrased.” Brother Zabala was just telling the truth and stating the facts.
What was “curiously” written was the editorial itself—which presented the facts to favor Menorca and to conjure up a negative image of the INC.
—FREDA MONTEJO, [email protected]
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