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Koko draws line in the sand, says INC case must be investigated

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Here’s one politiko who is not afraid to say that the illegal detention case filed against Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) leaders must be investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Administration lawmaker Senator Koko Pimentel bared in a DZBB interview Sunday that he disagrees with the INC demonstrators’ call for the administration to keep its hands off the case all because it’s an internal matter”.

“Pag-rally isyu iyon ng freedom of assembly, pero kailangan dumaan sa procedure, just any others, kailangan may permit, and comply with the condition ng permit,” Pimentel said, referring to the INC members’ defiant “occupy EDSA” move.

“Pero iyong sa substance na hinihingi nila na wag i-prioritize, medyo disagree naman ako doon, kasi dapat ang panawagan natin sa DOJ i-prioritize lahat, Pakibilisan ito, wag aksyunan ito, hindi ganon,” he added.

Former INC minister Isaias Samson Jr. earlier lodged an illegal detention complaint before the Justice department against officials of the influential Christian sect, which is said to be in disarray.

Pimentel noted that only a proper probe can determine if the case–which he described as “very serious”–has merits or not.

“Anong malay natin kapag binilisan ang aksyon baka madismis naman ang reklamo. Ganoon po iyon. Lahat naman kasi kapag ang isang tao nagfile ng criminal complaint, iyong kasong iyon mahalaga sa isang tao iyon, mahalaga sa taong nag-complain kasi ang feeling niya na-violate ang karapatan niya,” explained Pimentel, a lawyer.

As such, he advised the DOJ to fast track the case instead of leaving it be, like what the INC faithful wants it to do.

“Ngayon kapag nalaman kong that this is an internal matter, I will no longer continue pero kapag nalaman ito it involves public crime I have to continue.”

Other politikos have taken a safer stance on the ongoing rally of INC, which imposes a bloc-voting policy on its enlightened and obedient members. (Samantha A. Giron)