No water, no electricity – and now, even sewage water is flooding the residence of the estranged siblings of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) executive minister Eduardo Manalo.
The camp of Lottie Manalo-Hemedez and her brother Angel are claiming a new form of harassment by INC leaders in a bid to eject them from 36 Tandang Sora, where the siblings have continued to reside even after being expelled from the influential church in July 2015.
In photos posted on social media, black water and mud can be seen splattered on the stairs and over the floors inside the Manalo house. According to an insider from the Manalo camp, this has become a daily occurrence.
"The black water, the mud, has entered the houses, overflowing into the bedrooms...This has been going on for a week now," the source said.
This latest incident in 36 Tandang Sora comes almost a year since controversy rocked the INC, with ministers and members alleging corruption and wrongdoing within the church.
Since July, the Manalo siblings have been cooped up inside the Quezon City compound, itself a subject of competing ownership claims. But while court proceedings were ongoing, the siblings have hit out at the harassment against them, saying water and electricity have been cut off, and high fences built to enclose the compound.
The Manalo camp insider said that several weeks before sewage water started flooding the compound, Angel had been sending messages to say they had heard sounds of construction and hammering in the wee hours of the morning.
But they were unable to investigate the source of the noise because of the high fences enclosing the property.
Aside from the sewage water, the insider said that the house of one of the Manalo siblings, Marc, has already been demolished. Guards also continue to screen food deliveries, even taking photos of the delivery personnel and their vehicles.
The Manalo camp had also planned to bring in a portable toilet and a solar generator inside the compound, but the guards would not allow it, the source said.
The siblings are relying on the kindness of supporters, who bring in diesel to power the generator inside the compound.
Asked how the siblings are responding to this new development, the insider said they were trying to live with it as best they could.
"The family is just tolerating it, cleaning the waste up every day," the source said.
In January, Hemedez filed a complaint for falsification of public documents, accusing the INC of faking a deed of sale that transferred the 2-hectare property to the church.
Hemedez said this could not have been done because the document, dated April 2015, supposedly bore her signature and that of her late husband, who died in 2013.
According to a May 24 report of Eagle News, an INC-run news agency, the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office has dismissed the complaint for insufficient evidence. The Manalos, however, have not yet received a copy of the resolution.
The Manalos are also considering seeking the help of the Commission on Human Rights to investigate their situation. – Rappler.com