Sister of INC's Eduardo Manalo appears in court, stopped from testifying
MANILA, Philippines – Months since the controversy in the influential Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) erupted, Lolita "Lottie" Manalo-Hemedez appeared in public for the first time on Monday, November 23, to testify before a Quezon City court.
But the estranged sister of INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo was unable to present her testimony as a respondent in the petition filed by the influential church, which seeks to prohibit Lottie and her brother Angel from meeting visitors or accepting deliveries at the INC compound in Tandang Sora because of security concerns.
The INC, represented by lawyer Serafin Cuevas Jr, asked to defer the proceedings pending a decision on their motion to expunge the respondents' answer.
Cuevas argued that the Manalos' answer to the INC petition should not be admitted into records of the case because it was filed 8 days from the due date.
"Respondents at best is deemed to be in default. Whatever they have presented as evidence should now be ordered expunged or stricken off the record along with their answer," the motion read.
With the court's decision on the motion and the submission of Manalo-Hemedez's judicial affidavit still pending, she is set to testify on the next hearing date on December 16.
Lottie and her brother, Felix Nathaniel "Angel" Manalo, have been residing at the INC compound in Quezon City even after being expelled from the powerful church last July.
Their elder brother and the INC's leader, Eduardo, expelled his siblings and his mother after they claimed that their lives were in danger.
Angel Manalo later spoke out against corruption within the church. (INFOGRAPHIC: The Manalos of the Iglesia ni Cristo)
In September, the INC asked the court to ban visitors from the compound.