Part 1: Who is Glicerio Santos Jr. in the Iglesia ni Cristo?
[EXCLUSIVE] The elder Eraño Manalo had advised his son Eduardo, now executive minister, to always listen to the good counsel of Santos, also known as 'Kidlat', because he was 'quick to act'
MANILA, Philippines – Who is Glicerio Santos Jr and what is his role in the current feud that’s wracking the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC)? Why has his name been dragged into the controversy?
Those sympathetic to the side of INC expelled minister Felix Nathaniel "Angel" Manalo and his mother Cristina "Tenny" alleged it was Santos who alienated INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo from his family.
This was supposedly part of a power play and struggle that saw several old INC officials being kicked out after the death of the former executive minister, Eraño "Ka Erdy" Manalo.
The elder Manalo was known for his austere lifestyle, resisting calls from concerned Iglesia members for him to seek medication when he got ill. INC insiders told Rappler "Ka Erdy" believed that money collected from members should not be spent by him. "Pera ng Diyos (money of God)," as he called it, was not meant for him.
Not long after Eraño’s death, the Iglesia's Sanggunian or Council under the new executive minister Eduardo underwent a purge. Eraño’s other son Angel and his wife Tenny could not do anything about it because Eduardo had already assumed the post of executive minister. The mother had not spoken with the son since then.
Only one of the 12 members survived the Sanggunian shake-up: Glicerio Santos Jr.
“Pinakabilin-bilinan siya ni Ka Erdy (Eraño) kay Ka Eduardo,” said one INC member. (Ka Erdy entrusted him to Ka Eduardo.)
The elder Eraño had advised his son Eduardo to always listen to the good counsel of Santos, who was also known as "Kidlat" because he was “quick to act” and was able to deliver on difficult tasks assigned to him. “If there’s an impossible task, give it to Santos,” the INC member who has contacts with church higher-ups said.
Santos was appointed treasurer and general auditor of the church’s finances. He held considerable power, but to members, he was simply known to be in charge of “pananalapi” or church funds.
Also described as a "bean counter and bureaucrat" by others who knew him, Santos, now about 76 years old, showed a willingness to "adapt to the new leadership," another INC insider said.
He eventually became more entrenched as his own son, lawyer Glicerio Santos IV, became legal counsel of the Iglesia.
Referring to the elder Santos, the other INC member said, "Everyone knows he's the number 2 guy. He is the second most powerful man in the INC." If he isn’t the second most, he is certainly among the most powerful in the governing Council or Sanggunian.