Palace on Iglesia Ni Cristo case: Gov't is merely enforcing the law

Malacañang said the government has no intention of interfering in the internal affairs of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) but it has an obligation to enforce the law.

"Government's duty is to ensure that the laws of the land are complied with and does not wish to interfere in the internal affairs of any legitimate organization," Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement issued on Friday.

"Government is not taking an adversarial position against the INC whose contributions to national development and demonstration of civic consciousness are duly acknowledged," he said.

"We trust that expressions of dissent will continue to be peaceful, orderly and not in any way disruptive of normal activities of our citizenry."

Members of the INC flocked outside the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday to protest Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s alleged interference in the church's affairs.

Members of the INC, who called Secretary de Lima "biased", occupied the entire stretch of Padre Faura the same day she celebrated her 56th birthday and announced her plans to run for an elective post next year.

According to the INC members, de Lima showed “bias” after she accepted expelled INC members to the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).

De Lima gave assistance under the WPP to INC members Joy Yuson, former coordinator of the TV arm of INC, Lito de Luna Fruto, Roel Rosal, and Anthony Menorca and his family.