The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has denied a letter circulating online where its Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo supposedly endorsed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for president.
In a statement to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, INC spokesperson Edwin Zabala stressed that the letter did not come from Manalo. “The moment we identify the person/s responsible for this fraudulent letter containing the forged signature of Brother Eduardo Manalo, we will charge them in court,” he added.
In the letter, Manalo supposedly wrote that the Church’s administrative council (Sanggunian) decided to back Duterte over his four rivals because he is God-fearing and is capable of setting a good example to the people. Manalo then praised Duterte for being a “fountain of hope” to the people.
“Naniniwala tayong magiging kabalikat natin sya para mapagtagumpayan ang ating mga dakilang misyon ng Iglesia ni Cristo at upang tayo ay makarating sa pangakong kaligtasan,” (“We believe that Duterte will be our partner in making sure that the Iglesia ni Cristo will triumph in its goals and for us to attain the promised salvation,”) the forged letter also said.
According to sources contacted by The Filipino Scribe, the letter is demonstrably forged in the following ways:
1) The letterhead used is questionable
2) When INC announces their endorsed bets for national positions, they announce it all at the same time
3) The typo on the third paragraph is unacceptable (“Rodrido Duterte”)
4) The Church never invokes the name of the Lord the way it was used in the closing part
Who could be behind this hoax? It can be either of these two: an overzealous Duterte supporter or someone supporting any of his opponents with the intention of ruining his name before the INC leadership.