Expelled minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo Lowell Menorca II on Tuesday failed to testify before the Court of Appeals in connection with his case against INC leaders.
At the continuation of the hearing on his habeas corpus and amparo petition, Menorca was supposed to take the witness stand to narrate his allegations of abduction, harassment and illegal detention against the top INC ministers.
But before he could start his testimony, lawyers of the respondents urged the CA’s Seventh Division to suspend their cross examination of Menorca due to flaws and questionable entries in his 53-page judicial affidavit.
INC lawyer Patricia-Ann Prodigalidad informed the appellate court they have found at least 117 objections in the affidavit submitted by Menorca’s lawyers ahead of the hearing.
Prodigalidad argued that the statements submitted were hearsay, speculations and opinions, citing the court’s judicial affidavit rule that requires the affidavit to contain only facts and particulars in a question-and-answer format.
The lawyer cited for instance the claim of Menorca in lines 15 to18 of the Question 3 in his affidavit that he was “forcibly taken upon orders of the INC.”
She likened this conclusion drawn by Menorca to a telenovela or soap opera since it was not supported by evidence. She sought the deletion of this portion of the affidavit.
The justices approved the deletion, saying Menorca “has no authority and personal knowledge” over such claim.
The INC lawyer said they have similar questions to more than a hundred more portions of Menorca’s affidavit.
Prodigalidad stressed that they do not intend to delay the proceedings, recalling that they did not raise similar questions to testimonies of witnesses of Menorca during earlier hearing last November 11 and 12.
INC lawyers cited inconsistencies in the testimonies of Menorca’s wife Jinky, brother Anthony and nanny Abegail Yanson in demonstrating the weaknesses of the case.
The appellate court then ordered Prodigalidad to put in writing her objections and Menorca’s counsel to also submit answer before the court resolves the questions. The court also set the next hearing on January 20 next year.