Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Aquino: Iglesia ni Cristo leaders didn’t threaten me

It never happened.

In a text message to his spokespersons, President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said a Philippine Daily Inquirer report quoting Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) officials as having warned him in a meeting the other day with INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo to keep the religious sect out of the controversy over impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona was a kuryente story (bum steer).

“That part of the conversation never happened,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told a press briefing Tuesday.

Valte said she received a text message from the President denying the report.

Asked what the President said about what Manalo had told him at the meeting, Valte said she did not ask him. “The sense that I got is that their conversation was OK. There was no mention of anything untoward.”

Asked to comment on the report that Manalo only met with the President briefly and that it was the INC’s Council of Elders that had spoken to him, Valte said Mr. Aquino had told his aides that it was Manalo who talked to him.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda earlier admitted that Mr. Aquino and Manalo had met the other day at the INC’s Quezon City headquarters and that they had discussed Corona’s impeachment trial, among other topics.

He said Mr. Aquino met with Manalo in order to “touch base” with him and the INC, which had supported his runs for senator and for president.

But an Inquirer source in the INC said that at the meeting, the Council of Elders had bluntly told the President to keep the INC out of the Corona affair. Christine O. Avendaño
Iglesia ni Cristo news

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